SAN FRANCISCO -- Hector Sanchez taketh away, Hector Sanchez giveth. Or somesuch.Sanchez's 12th-inning single to score Pablo Sandoval from second gave the Giants a 3-2 victory over Houston Saturday night in a game that lasted four hours, one minute, three innings after his throwing error allowed the Astros to tie the game and cost starter Tim Lincecum a victory.It was Sanchez's career-high fourth hit of the night.The stars were aligned for the sputtering Lincecum, who had been soundly beaten around in his previous two starts, in the heat of Washington and Pittsburgh, to pull himself out of his career-worst funk.Because back in the cool of the Bay Area, the two-time Cy Young Award winner would be facing pitiful-on-the-road Houston.Almost.Lincecum did his part against an Astros team that entered the night an MLB-worst 33-54 overall, 9-33 on the road, throwing eight innings of shutout ball, but a strikeout of Chris Snyder, a wild pitch by Santiago Casilla and the throwing error by Sanchez and alert base-running by Justin Maxwell -- all on the same pitch -- tied the game at 2-2 with two out in the ninth.Still, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost at home to San Diego, so the Giants reclaimed first place in the National League West by 12 of one game.
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Starting pitching report It was Lincecum's longest outing since going eight innings and beating San Diego on April 28, and Lincecum's 11 strikeouts were a season high. He also gave up five hits and walked one in 114 pitches, 75 strikes. He was never really in trouble against a ghastly Astros lineup and really, that's the way it should be, right? He entered the game 5-0 with a 1.14 career ERA against Houston, 2-4 with a 3.99 ERA at home this year and just 1-6, 9.00 on the road.Bullpen report Santiago Casilla, who has had some mound misadventures of his own of late, struck out J.D. Martinez, walked Scott Moore, struck out Chris Johnson and gave up a run-scoring double to Justin Maxwell before the fateful strikeoutwild pitchthrowing error for his fourth blown save in his last six opportunities. Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo combined for a scoreless inning and Brad Penny went 1 13 before giving way to Jeremy Affeldt for a batter. Affeldt got the win.At the plate Melky Cabrera's two singles -- neither of which were hit particularly hard -- gave him not only his MLB-leading 40th multi-hit game of the season, but his second hit, a semi-flare to right field drove in Lincecum from third base with two out in the fifth inning to give the pitcher a 1-0 lead. Then, back-to-back doubles by Angel Pagan and Sanchez to lead off the sixth gave the Giants a 2-0 advantage. Sanchez, as mentioned earlier, also had a career-high four hits.In the field Cabrera also gave Lincecum a huge assist in the third inning, chasing down Jed Lowrie's slicing fly ball in the left-center gap to end the inning. Jose Altuve was running with the pitch and would have scored easily had Cabrera not come up with the catch.Attendance The Giants announced a paid crowd of 42,171 for the club's 128th straight sellout.Up next Giants right-hander Matt Cain (9-3, 2.62 ERA) faces Astros right-hander Bud Norris (5-6, 4.71) in the CSN Bay Area-televised series finale Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. All Cain did the last time he faced the Astros was throw the first perfect game in franchise history, on June 13 at AT&T Park.