Lincecum blanks Oakland 3-0
SAN FRANCISCO – Tim Lincecum kept tabs on heralded rookie Vin Mazzaro all right, despite the reigning Cy Young Award winner’s insistence that he’s facing the other lineup and not the other pitcher.
“He had a no-hitter, perfect game through the first three. It looked like a tough day for us,” Lincecum said.
Lincecum just got tougher.
The hard-throwing right-hander pitched a seven-hitter for his third career complete game and first this season, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Oakland Athletics 3-0 on Friday night to win the first meeting of the Bay Bridge Series.
Lincecum (6-1), who also drove in his third run of the year, struck out eight and walked one to win his sixth straight decision dating to his only loss of 2009 on April 12 at San Diego.
“He did it all tonight. He had the big hit there for us, pitched well,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We say enough things about him but tonight he was special.”
It was the Giants’ seventh shutout of the year and Lincecum’s second career shutout. He also had one last Sept. 13 in a 7-0 victory at San Diego.
Lincecum regularly pumped his fist and looked as strong in the late innings as he did at the start.
“It was just big pitches and big outs when we needed them,” he said of the emotion he exuded.
San Francisco won its third straight against the A’s and ended a seven-game home losing streak to Oakland with its first victory in the series in the Giants’ waterfront ballpark since June 24, 2006. The A’s swept a three-game series in San Francisco last year.
Lincecum singled in the first career run allowed by Mazzaro (2-1) in the fifth inning and won this impressive pitcher’s duel. Aaron Rowand followed Lincecum’s hit with a two-run single.
Lincecum struck out Matt Holliday to finish the eighth, then fanned former Giant Rajai Davis to end the Giants’ seventh shutout of 2009 in a speedy 2 hours, 2 minutes – and on an efficient 110 pitches. Oakland was blanked for the fifth time this season.
“His fastball was at 95 in the ninth inning. That speaks for itself,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “He had everything working.”
Mazzaro wasn’t bad himself.
He didn’t allow a hit until Pablo Sandoval’s leadoff bunt single in the fifth and pitched 17 2-3 scoreless innings to start his career.
“I wasn’t expecting him to bunt. It was a good one though,” Mazzaro said. “You have to expect anything from anybody.”
After Mazzaro received a mound visit from pitching coach Curt Young, Lincecum stepped in with the bases loaded and punched a single to shallow left-center.
Mazzaro retired the first 11 batters he faced Friday before Randy Winn reached on third baseman Jack Hannahan’s error in the fourth. Hannahan scooped up Winn’s grounder, but first baseman Jason Giambi couldn’t field the low throw. That snapped a 72-game errorless streak by Hannahan dating to Aug. 10, 2008, the longest in Oakland history by a third baseman.
Mazzaro, one of four rookies in Oakland’s inexperienced rotation, allowed six hits in six innings, struck out four and walked one. None of Oakland’s starters had a major league at-bat entering interleague play.
Giambi went 0 for 4 for Oakland, seeing his batting average drop to .212 – his lowest at this stage of the season since he was hitting .182 in only four games played as a rookie in 1995.
Two Oakland fans were dressed in full uniforms, with wigs and sunglasses, imitating Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco and carrying a replica of the World Series trophy.
Notes: The A’s activated INF Nomar Garciaparra from his second stint on the 15-day disabled list and he had a pinch-hit single in the seventh. Oakland optioned OF Aaron Cunningham to Triple-A Sacramento to clear room on the roster. … A’s C Kurt Suzuki didn’t start in consecutive games for the first time this season. He fouled a ball off his left knee during a pinch-hit appearance Thursday against the Twins. … The Giants held a reunion for their team from the 1989 World Series – interrupted for 10 days by an earthquake – that was swept by the A’s and 25 players took part in Friday’s festivities. Oakland plans a similar get-together June 23 when the Giants play at the Coliseum.