Giants Avoid the Sweep, Take a Game in San Diego

Tim Lincecum got his first win of 2014, and the Giants avoided the sweep as San Francisco defeated the Padres 4-3 on Sunday afternoon in San Diego.

The Giants jumped out to an early lead on Buster Posey’s fourth home run of the season. With one out, Hunter Pence worked a walk from Robbie Erlin, and Posey crushed the two-run shot over the left-field fence. And for the first time since Wednesday, San Francisco had more than two runs on the board.

The offense extended their lead in the second. With one out, Brandon Hicks walked, Brandon Crawford singled, and Lincecum walked to load the bases. Angel Pagan then slapped single into center and brought in two runs, making it 4-0 Giants.

It turns out that’d be enough for Lincecum. Despite not having pinpoint control, the right-hander delivered his first quality start of the season. He allowed seven hits, three runs, and three walks – he’d only given up one walk so far all year – in six innings, but he struck out seven.

Padres starter Erlin settled in nicely for San Diego, keeping the Giants hitless after the second inning. He actually only allowed three hits in six innings, but he did walk three, helping San Francisco get their four runs.

Despite being down early, San Diego clawed their way back into the game. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Will Venable and Seth Smith hit back-to-back singles, and Xavier Nady walked to load the bases. Chase Headley crushed a double down the right-field line, and it looked like it was going to clear the bases and bring San Diego to within a run. And initially, all three runners were called safe at home. However, Bruce Bochy challenged the call that Nady was safe at the plate, and it was overturned, making it 4-2 Giants. After his first challenge of the year was lost, Bochy is now three-for-three on challenges since.

The Padres got their third run on a solo shot by Nick Hundley to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Linecum has now given up six home runs in just 21 innings.

Sergio Romo allowed a lead-off walk to Headley in the bottom of the ninth, and a wild pitch helped move Headley into scoring position. The Giants closer also looked to be lacking control, but got the remaining three outs for his fifth save of the season.

The Giants will fly to Colorado to face the Rockies in a three-game set starting on Monday.