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Atlanta at San Francisco

Scoreboard
Atlanta (3-3)200000001362
San Francisco (5-1) «00010203x680

Lincecum, Giants handle Braves after lengthy rain delay

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecum faced many a rainy outing growing up in Seattle. Not so for slugger Pablo Sandoval in his native Venezuela.

Both had huge days despite downright nasty conditions.

"I like it," Sandoval said with a grin. "I keep myself warm and don't get tired too quick."

Lincecum struck out 10 and overcame an early home run, Sandoval hit a two-run shot and the San Francisco Giants beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3 on Sunday night in a game that finally started after a rain delay of 4 hours, 9 minutes.

"I've dealt with things like this before in school," Lincecum said.

Cleanup hitter Aubrey Huff and No. 5 man Mark DeRosa, the Giants' two biggest offensive additions this winter, and Bengie Molina all hit RBI singles. Huff also scored the go-ahead run in the sixth on rookie right fielder Jason Heyward's misguided throw for his first career error.

Heyward hit a solo homer in the ninth.

Lincecum (2-0), the two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, recorded his 20th career game with 10 or more strikeouts. He struck out the side in order in the seventh to finish an impressive 108-pitch performance that was made more challenging by having to wait around for hours on the chilly, windy spring day in the Bay Area.

Lincecum even got in a 30-minute nap as he waited for his 2010 home debut. He blew on his hands to stay warm between innings.

"The kid's won two Cy Youngs, so nothing surprises you when he does something out there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

The clouds burst with rain again as soon as the game ended.

Jeremy Affeldt allowed Heyward's third homer before earning his first save since Sept. 19, 2006, against San Francisco while with the Colorado Rockies. The left-hander tossed two innings, striking out Matt Diaz to end the 2-hour, 20-minute game just in time.

"It's an epic moment when you get strike three and then it downpours like that," Affeldt said.

Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami (0-1) retired the first 11 San Francisco batters before Sandoval's two-out triple in the fourth.

"He was as good as I've ever seen him. He can't pitch better than that," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

Brian McCann hit a monster two-run homer in the first off Lincecum to put Atlanta ahead early, only to later be topped by Sandoval's drive.

Watching Sandoval's hit made Lincecum feel a little better about giving up McCann's clout.

"Those two were crushed," Bochy said. "I don't know if a hurricane would have held those two up."

Lincecum went all of last season without allowing a homer at home in AT&T Park, and this was his first in the waterfront ballpark since Colorado's Seth Smith connected on Sept. 23, 2008.

Lincecum gave up five hits and two runs in seven innings, walking one.

"He's the best pitcher in the game," McCann said. "It was almost like he changed to another gear after the home run. His changeup is close to unhittable."

Lincecum, a two-time All-Star, has often been clutch when he takes the mound after a loss, and he helped San Francisco bounce back from its first defeat of the season. The Giants lost 7-2 on Saturday night after winning their first four games.

Sandoval connected for his first homer of the year with an eighth-inning shot against the wind that sailed over the right-field arcade and onto the walkway on the other side.

A heavy rain began in the morning and didn't let up until late afternoon, when a small window of good weather developed and the sides agreed to play in spite of a soggy outfield.

The tarp was removed to cheers nearly three hours after the scheduled first pitch of 1:05 p.m. local time.

While a pregame ceremony had been planned for the reunion of the Giants' 2000 NL West championship team, the players were long gone by the time the game began -- some to catch flights home -- so most fans never saw them.

Notes
  • Atlanta's Chipper Jones , nursing back spasms and a strained oblique from Thursday night, took grounders Saturday and then hit in the cage Sunday. He said he hopes to return to the lineup Wednesday.
  • Fans stood up and hollered in delight when the sun made an appearance before the start of the bottom of the second.
  • A rainbow appeared beyond the right-field foul pole in the third.
  • Announced attendance was 38,062, though there were a lot of empty seats by the end of the night.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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In addition to having to deal with Tim Lincecum, Matt Diaz also has to put up with the rain. (AP)
In addition to having to deal with Tim Lincecum, Matt Diaz also has to put up with the rain. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

P. Sandoval
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
Atlanta

B. McCann
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Atlanta Braves
Melky Cabrera, CF4000010 .120
Martin Prado, 3B4010000 .542
Eric Hinske, 1B2100111 .333
   a- Troy Glaus, PH-1B1000000 .227
Brian McCann, C4122011 .294
Yunel Escobar, SS4000011 .192
Jason Heyward, RF4111011 .292
Matt Diaz, LF4010020 .231
Omar Infante, 2B3010021 .250
Kenshin Kawakami, P2000011 .000
   b- Brooks Conrad, PH1000010 .000
    Kris Medlen, P0000000 .000
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
Totals33363111  
a-popped out for Hinske in the 8th
b-struck out for Kawakami in the 7th
Batting
2B - Martin Prado (3, Lincecum), Omar Infante (1, Lincecum)
HR - Brian McCann (2, Lincecum), Jason Heyward (3, Affeldt)
RBI - Brian McCann 2 (3), Jason Heyward (8)
2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann 2 (2), Jason Heyward (3)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Matt Diaz (1, Dropped fly), Jason Heyward (1, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
Kenshin Kawakami (L,0-1) 6532110 3.00
Kris Medlen 1.1222021 3.60
Eric O'Flaherty 0.2110010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Kenshin Kawakami 65-42, Kris Medlen 21-15, Eric O'Flaherty 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kenshin Kawakami 11-6, Kris Medlen 2-0, Eric O'Flaherty 1-1
Batters Faced - Kenshin Kawakami 24, Kris Medlen 6, Eric O'Flaherty 4
San Francisco Giants
Aaron Rowand, CF4010000 .290
Eugenio Velez, 2B4100001 .250
Pablo Sandoval, 3B4332000 .360
Aubrey Huff, 1B3211100 .217
    Travis Ishikawa, 1B0000000 .250
Mark DeRosa, LF4011002 .222
Bengie Molina, C4011001 .267
John Bowker, RF3010010 .250
    Jeremy Affeldt, P1000011 .000
Juan Uribe, SS3000001 .350
Tim Lincecum, P2000011 .000
   a- Nate Schierholtz, PH-RF1000010 .200
Totals3368514  
a-struck out for Lincecum in the 7th
Batting
3B - Pablo Sandoval (1, Kawakami)
HR - Pablo Sandoval (1, Medlen)
RBI - Pablo Sandoval 2 (3), Aubrey Huff (3), Mark DeRosa (2), Bengie Molina (3)
2-OUT RBI - Aubrey Huff (1), Mark DeRosa (1), Bengie Molina (1)
Team LOB - 4
San Francisco Giants
Tim Lincecum (W,2-0) 75221101 1.29
Jeremy Affeldt (S,1) 2111011 2.08
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Lincecum 108-76, Jeremy Affeldt 30-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Lincecum 5-6, Jeremy Affeldt 4-1
Batters Faced - Tim Lincecum 27, Jeremy Affeldt 7
Game Information
Attendance - 38062
Game Time - 2:20
Temperature - 50
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Mike Muchlinski, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Bob Davidson