Tim Lincecum allowed just one run through 7.2 innings and received enough run support from Tyler Colvin to lead the San Francisco Giants’ to a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves at AT&T Park.
With the exception of a fifth inning mistake to BJ Upton that landed in the left field bleachers, Lincecum was on top of his command on Monday night.
“It was vintage Timmy, the way he had his good secondary pitches going,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “He had a good look about him the entire night.”
The Giants’ starter not only made it through six innings for the first time this season; he also had one of his best games in almost a year. Lincecum went 7.2 innings and allowed just two hits and one run. His eleven strikeouts marked the first time Lincecum fanned so many since July 8th of last season, and the crowd at AT&T Park gave him a standing ovation as his walked back to the dugout in the eighth inning.
“I was able to keep my pitch count down, relatively, and that gave me the leash to get back out there in the next inning,” he said. “It’s pretty special here, every time they give you something like that. It would have been nice if I had got that last out.”
His outing certainly helped the defense from straining.
“It was great, I didn’t get a single ball,” said Tyler Colvin, “Even from left field I could tell his stuff was all over the place.”
One important point of defense, however, came in the seventh inning. Shawon Dunston stayed hot at the replay, as the Giants were able to overturn a second call in as many days. BJ Upton slid into third base on a steal attempt, and after a roughly two-minute challenge, the safe call was overturned and Upton was declared out.
“I knew it was bang-bang, but at that point in the game I really have nothing to lose,” said Bochy.
“That was probably the turning point of the game,” added Lincecum. “had he not made that throw, not made that out, it’s one out, man on third.”
Lincecum was able to enjoy some run support from the bottom of the order, and said he has to feel like someone will come through for him.
“You have to feel that way every day, and today was Tyler’s day,” he said.
Colvin’s first hit as a Giant came in the second inning: a solo shot into the waters of McCovey Cove. The left fielder, who just had his contract purchased from Fresno before Saturday’s game in Los Angeles, ripped a shot over the right field wall to give the Giants an early lead. After the game, though, he didn’t know it was a splash hit.
“Did it actually go in without a bounce? Oh nice!” he said.
Colvin wasn’t done, however, when he came to the plate in the seventh inning. With two on and no out, he roped a triple to the right field wall, scoring Hector Sanchez and Brandon Crawford. He then scored on a single from Brandon Hicks.
“There was a chance to knock him in, and luckily I did it,” said Colvin.
In the ninth inning, the Braves threatened as Javier Lopez gave up his third home run in a Giants uniform. Freddie Freeman hit a solo blast into McCovey Cove to cut San Francisco’s lead to two, but Sergio Romo came in and logged three quick outs to give the Giants the win.
“He politicked for that,” said Bochy. “He said he was good to go. It was a good bounce back for him.”
Tomorrow, the Giants will take on the Braves for Game 2 of this three-game series, as Ryan Vogelsong takes on Mike Minor. Vogelsong has bounced back from a tough beginning to the season, and has given up just two runs over his last 20 1/3 innings. His 0.89 ERA over his last three starts includes 14 strikeouts and eight walks. In his last start against Atlanta on May 3, Vogelsong went six innings, allowing one run and five hits in the Giants 3-1 win over the Braves.
Minor gave up just two runs in his last start – and season debut – against San Francisco, although those two were home runs off the bats of Angel Pagan and Michael Morse. Minor gave up six runs in 4.1 innings of work in his most recent start against the St. Louis Cardinals.
First pitch at 7:15pm.