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Oakland at San Francisco

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Oakland (22-24)000000000032
San Francisco (26-19) «10000002x390

Lincecum's 3-hit shutout gets Giants past A's again

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- The shadows were creeping in around home plate. As if Tim Lincecum wasn't dominating enough Saturday, the rare mid-afternoon start forced hitters to find the ball from his hand atop the mound, through the sunlight and into darkness, at times seemingly making pitches vanish.

One by one, hitters also disappeared.

Lincecum pitched a three-hitter in one of the most spectacular outings of his already brilliant career, and the San Francisco Giants beat the cross-bay rival Oakland Athletics 3-0 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory.

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"I have sympathy for them," Lincecum said of Oakland dealing with the conditions.

Not that he showed any compassion.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner allowed Ryan Sweeney's two-out single in the first before retiring 21 straight batters, leading the Giants past the A's for the second day in a row. Lincecum (4-4) struck out six and walked none for his eighth career complete game, handing Oakland its fourth straight loss.

"I'd say it's got to be right up there with his best performance," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's thrown so many great games. What a job he did today."

San Francisco needed every last bit of from its ace, too.

Buster Posey had two hits and drove in the only run against starter Brett Anderson (2-4), who left after giving up five hits in five innings to the defending World Series champions. Cody Ross added an RBI single and Miguel Tejada had a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

The man they call The Freak lived up to his nickname in every facet.

After allowing seven runs and walking six in a 7-4 loss at Colorado in his last start, Lincecum labored through a 24-pitch first inning before finding his groove. Sweeney sent a grounder on the ninth pitch just out of reach of diving second baseman Freddy Sanchez, the only Oakland baserunner until Landon Powell's two-out single in the eighth.

"He's one of the best pitchers in baseball," Powell said. "It's not going to be an easy at-bat whenever you go up to face him. You just try to scratch it together against him."

Even for Lincecum, this was simply dazzling.

Lincecum sparkled with his best performance of the season, shattering bats, baffling hitters and popping Posey's glove with a wicked breaking ball and a fastball that touched 96 mph with his adrenaline pumping the ninth. His combination of sliders, curves, changeups and fastballs kept hitters off balance, and his composure never wavered.

After David DeJesus led off the ninth with a single, Giants closer Brian Wilson sprinted out to the bullpen and started warming up -- in clear vision of Lincecum. He kept his poise to throw a season-high 133 pitches, striking out Daric Barton swinging and getting Sweeney looking to end the game.

"It's hard to compare outings. He's so good," Posey said. "He was himself."

All the cushion Lincecum would need came early.

Andres Torres got things started for the Giants with a leadoff walk in the first. Sanchez followed with a double, and Posey's groundout to second was hit slow enough to score Torres and give San Francisco a 1-0 lead.

A night after a trio of solid defensive plays, the Giants were sharp again in the field. Torres made a diving catch in center in the fourth to rob Barton of extra bases, moving to his left on a ball slicing away from him in a strong gust.

Even the smallest of plays would prove big with runs so scarce.

Aubrey Huff tried to score from first on Mike Fontenot's double in the sixth, getting thrown out at the plate on second baseman Mark Ellis' relay throw from short right field.

They finally gave Lincecum some extra protection in the eighth, when Ross had an RBI single off reliever Brad Ziegler. Two batters later, Tejada added a sacrifice fly to center field off Jerry Blevins to score Ross.

Lincecum has never thrown a no-hitter, but twice took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning this season. And this one might be considered his masterpiece.

"I think it just goes back to having good rhythm throughout the game," Lincecum said. "Not expending yourself too much to allow yourself, if you get into a jam, to take it to another level."

Notes

  • Oakland 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff has a right groin strain, and is day to day.
  • Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval fielded ground balls and did some light tossing, the latest progression in his return from right wrist surgery. He will hit off a tee sometime in the next few days and is still on schedule to return in about two or three weeks.
  • Oakland's two-time All-Star closer Andrew Bailey (strained right forearm) had a light throwing session before the game and will make his first rehab assignment in Triple-A Sacramento either Monday or Tuesday, Geren said. Bailey is scheduled to throw one inning.
 
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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Tim Lincecum pitches a complete game to shut out the A's, whiffing six and walking none. (US Presswire)
Tim Lincecum pitches a complete game to shut out the A's, whiffing six and walking none. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

B. Posey
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
San Francisco

T. Lincecum
IP 9.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 0
K 6
 
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Coco Crisp, CF4000011 .268
Daric Barton, 1B4000011 .214
Ryan Sweeney, RF4010011 .313
Conor Jackson, LF3000001 .261
Mark Ellis, 2B3000000 .210
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B3000000 .198
    Andy LaRoche, 3B0000000 .232
Landon Powell, C3010010 .243
    Kurt Suzuki, PR-C0000000 .246
Cliff Pennington, SS3000021 .223
Brett Anderson, P1000000 .000
   a- Hideki Matsui, PH1000000 .234
    Joey Devine, P0000000 .000
    Craig Breslow, P0000000 .000
    Brad Ziegler, P0000000 .000
    Jerry Blevins, P0000000 .000
   b- David DeJesus, PH1010000 .231
Totals3003006  
a-grounded out for Anderson in the 6th
b-singled for Blevins in the 9th
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ryan Sweeney 1
E - Kevin Kouzmanoff (7, Misplayed grounder), Landon Powell (1, Dropped fly)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brett Anderson (L,2-4) 5511150 3.18
Joey Devine 1100000 0.00
Craig Breslow 1000020 4.24
Brad Ziegler 0.1222000 1.80
Jerry Blevins 0.2100100 4.40
IBB - Fontenot by Jerry Blevins
HBP - Ross (by Brett Anderson)
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Anderson 91-55, Joey Devine 14-9, Craig Breslow 10-8, Brad Ziegler 11-8, Jerry Blevins 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Anderson 7-3, Joey Devine 1-2, Brad Ziegler 1-0
Batters Faced - Brett Anderson 22, Joey Devine 4, Craig Breslow 3, Brad Ziegler 3, Jerry Blevins 4
San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andres Torres, CF3100121 .286
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4020010 .276
Buster Posey, C4121001 .284
Pat Burrell, LF4000033 .230
    Nate Schierholtz, RF0000000 .256
Cody Ross, RF-LF3111001 .256
Aubrey Huff, 1B4020002 .228
Miguel Tejada, 3B3011001 .218
Mike Fontenot, SS3010103 .220
Tim Lincecum, P3000013 .045
Totals3139327  
Batting
2B - Freddy Sanchez (9, Anderson), Buster Posey (5, Anderson), Mike Fontenot (7, Devine)
SF - Miguel Tejada (3)
SH - Tim Lincecum (5)
RBI - Buster Posey (21), Cody Ross (11), Miguel Tejada (14)
Team LOB - 9
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tim Lincecum (W,4-4) 9300060 2.06
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Lincecum 133-84
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Lincecum 12-9
Batters Faced - Tim Lincecum 30
Game Information
Attendance - 42152
Game Time - 2:24
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - John Tumpane