Lincecum finally wins again for Giants
AP Baseball Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Pinch-runner Darren Ford scored the go-ahead run from second base on a wild pitch and throwing error in the eighth inning, helping Tim Lincecum end a career-worst five-start skid in the San Francisco Giants’ 2-1 victory over Colorado on Wednesday night.
Ubaldo Jimenez (17-6) was denied in his fifth attempt at a franchise-record 18th win. He lost his third straight start and fourth consecutive decision dating to a win over the Giants on Aug. 4.
The Giants gained another game on the first-place Padres, pulling within three games in the NL West race after San Diego lost its seventh in a row.
Lincecum (12-9) won for the first time since July 30. He hung tough in an impressive pitchers’ duel between the two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner and the guy who may unseat him for the honor this season.
Ford came through hours after being called up from Double-A Richmond. Veterans Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell exchanged chest slaps, while Pablo Sandoval greeted Ford with a big hug in the dugout.
Lincecum allowed five hits, struck out nine and walked one in eight innings. All-Star closer Brian Wilson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 38th save in 42 chances.
Second baseman Freddy Sanchez, facing the outfield, made an over-the-shoulder catch on Melvin Mora’s popup to end it. Sanchez laid flat on his back in relief as the crowd at AT&T Park roared.
Carlos Gonzalez homered to start the fourth for the Rockies, who did little else against Lincecum on a night the hard-throwing right-hander looked like his old self again.
Winning this series for the Giants was huge considering they dropped the opener Monday on a bizarre broken-bat triple.
Jimenez didn’t allow a hit until Jose Guillen singled to right leading off the fifth. Buster Posey walked and Sandoval struck out swinging before Mike Fontenot’s RBI single made it 1-all.
Lincecum went 1-3 last September and expects more from himself this time to keep his team in the playoff chase.
Colorado now heads home for a makeup game with the Phillies on Thursday before traveling to San Diego for a key weekend series.
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki returned to the Rockies’ lineup after missing two games with a sore left groin. He went 0 for 4 and had his hitting streak snapped at 10 games.
NOTES: The Giants activated SS Edgar Renteria and LHP reliever Dan Runzler from the disabled list. Renteria wasn’t in the starting lineup after his third DL stint and manager Bruce Bochy said Juan Uribe would get most of the work at that spot the rest of the way.