Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Lincecum is shaky but successful to beat L.A.

San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum delivers to the Dodgers during the Giants' 5-3 victory on Wednesday in Los Angeles. AP photo

LOS ANGELES — Tim Lincecum walked seven, matching a career worst, yet still managed to get the win when Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence homered to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday in the rubber game of their season-opening series.

Lincecum (1-0) threw 91 pitches in five innings, but limited the Dodgers to two unearned runs and three hits. He struck out four while outperforming Josh Beckett in a matchup of marquee pitchers coming off the worst season of their respective careers.

Beckett (0-1) was charged with five runs, three earned, and six hits in six innings. Carl Crawford had three hits and scored a run for Los Angeles.

Lincecum won Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009 and led the NL in strikeouts for three consecutive years. But the right-hander was 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA last season, then was relegated to bullpen duty in the playoffs — allowing an earned run and three hits in 13 innings with 17 strikeouts.

Lincecum, embarking on the final year of a two-year, $40.5 million contract, was the Giants’ opening day pitcher in each of the previous four seasons. The 28-year-old right-hander missed two starts in spring training because of a blister problem and was slotted behind Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner in the rotation.

Beckett was the World Series MVP with Florida in 2003 and the ALCS MVP with Boston in 2007 — his only 20-win season. But the 32-year-old right-hander was 7-14 with a 4.65 ERA in a combined 28 starts last season with the Red Sox and Dodgers after he was acquired in a blockbuster nine-player trade on Aug. 25.

Pence gave the defending World Series champions a 5-2 cushion in the sixth with a line-drive solo homer to right-center.

Jose Mijares relieved Lincecum in the sixth and threw 11 pitches without recording an out. He loaded the bases by hitting Skip Schumaker with a 1-2 pitch that caromed off his shoulder and over the home plate screen.

Matt Kemp, who was 0 for 2 in bases-loaded situations and hitless in four at-bats, grounded into a double play against George Kontos as Mark Ellis scored. Javier Lopez then came in and struck out Adrian Gonzalez.

Sergio Romo, the sixth Giants pitcher, worked a perfect ninth for his second save.

The Associated Press

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