SAN FRANCISCO — Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer three pitches after another hard-hit ball fell about an inch foul of an RBI double, Tim Lincecum struck out a season-best eight batters and the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 2-0 Saturday night.
Lincecum (2-0) pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, providing a steady presence on the mound after he had allowed four or more runs in a single inning in two of his previous three starts this year.
Sandoval’s third home run of the season landed in the elevated right-field arcade for a 2-0 lead in the fourth that held up. The Giants are 8-1 this season when scoring first.
Lincecum was caught by reigning NL MVP Buster Posey, a pair who rarely worked together in 2012 as Posey returned from season-ending left leg and ankle injuries the year before.
Lincecum retired the first six batters of the game in order, then escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third when he retired Chase Headley on an inning-ending grounder. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner then got three quick outs in a seven-pitch fourth.
He allowed four hits and walked two, lowering his ERA from 5.63 to 3.97 as the Giants won for the 15th time in their last 19 games at home dating to last season.
Jose Mijares and Santiago Casilla each recorded two outs in relief before Sergio Romo finished the five-hitter for the Giants’ fourth shutout and his eighth save in nine chances.
Sandoval delivered the key hit against Andrew Cashner (0-1) a night after Angel Pagan’s winning, one-out double in the ninth lifted the Giants to a 3-2 win in the series opener. Sandoval fouled a ball off his right foot in the seventh but stayed in the game after being checked out, then Joaquin Arias came in for defense at third base in the top of the eighth.
The Padres scratched Clayton Richard when the left-hander came down with a stomach virus and began vomiting shortly after waking up Saturday.
Cashner, who had been a long reliever so far this season, was called upon to make a spot start in place of Richard — his seventh major league start in four seasons.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy then shuffled his lineup for a right-handed starter, and said Arias and outfielder Andres Torres would start Sunday’s series finale after they had been in Saturday’s first lineup.
Cashner allowed two hits and two runs in four innings, struck out five and walked one.
Padres leadoff man Everth Cabrera had a pair of hits, and his double to start the eighth was the Padres’ lone extra-base hit in their first shutout of the year.
Hunter Pence stole his fourth base in the seventh for San Francisco. He had five steals all of last season.
Notes: San Diego placed RHP Tyson Ross on the 15-day disabled list with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. If Richard is well enough, he would fill Ross’ slot in the rotation at home Tuesday against Milwaukee. … Bochy said he is sorry thousands of fans were late getting into the ballpark Friday night with extra security measures, including the use of electronic wands. “We certainly apologize to fans who did miss a few pitches in the game,” Bochy said. “Sometimes things have to be done to be cautious.” … Before the bottom of the second, the Giants wished a “speedy recovery” to 11-year-old Aaron Hern of nearby Martinez after he was injured at the Boston marathon. His photo was shown on the main scoreboard and the boy received a standing ovation.