Lincecum wild as Giants fall to Braves 5-2

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Lincecum wild as Giants fall to Braves 5-2

April 23, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Tim Hudson understood why he had to come out with the ninth inning so close to over, a single out the only thing keeping him from a complete game.Still, that didn't make it any easier to actually leave.Hudson outdueled Tim Lincecum and nearly pitched his first complete game this year, leadoff man Martin Prado drove in Atlanta's first three runs and the Braves beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2 on Saturday to secure just their third series win of the season.
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"It's pretty disappointing. Obviously to go out and get two outs in the ninth, you want to finish it," Hudson said. "My pitch count got up there and I was laboring a little bit. But I'm not a guy who takes a lot of pride in complete games."Hudson (3-2) followed up Tommy Hanson's strong outing a night earlier with his own impressive performance in a matchup of two undersized, hard-throwing righties who share a first name.Hudson allowed nine hits, struck out four and didn't walk a batter in an efficient, 112-pitch outing. Manager Fredi Gonzalez left Hudson in to start the ninth but he gave up Pat Burrell's leadoff double and a sacrifice fly to Miguel Tejada.Lincecum (2-2) was tagged for five runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings after he carried a no-hit bid into the eighth inning Monday at Colorado. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner also walked a career-high six and struck out six, while allowing his most earned runs since also giving up five last Aug. 15 during a career-worst, five-start losing streak.RELATED: MLB standings
Brian McCann added a two-run single in the seventh off Javier Lopez to end an 0-for-10 drought and further back Hudson. This outing was reminiscent of the pitcher's dominant days across San Francisco Bay as a member of Oakland's "Big Three" - with Hudson still hitting 91 mph on the radar gun even at the end."It's a lot of fun to come out and pitch in front of a packed crowd, against the defending champs and one of the best pitchers going right now," Hudson said. "It'll be nice to come in tomorrow and go for the sweep."Atlanta's No. 3 starter had made it only six innings in his previous two outings. This time, he worked ahead and calmly got out of trouble when the Giants created chances.While his only clean innings came in the first and sixth, he was helped by two double plays. Hudson had only thrown 72 pitches through six, 23 fewer than Lincecum."He's probably a little mad at me I took him out. We gave him an opportunity," Gonzalez said. "Huddy was outstanding."Craig Kimbrel retired pinch-hitter Buster Posey on a flyball to center for the final out for his sixth save in seven chances and second in as many games.The reigning World Series champion Giants lost their third in a row and had their streak of four straight winning series snapped. Lincecum was handed only his third loss in nine career starts against Atlanta.
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"You can't accept pretty good results when you walk six guys," Lincecum said. "It's almost like a guy's on every inning. Obviously you're not helping yourself or your team with a back-against-the-wall kind of situation. Today was one of those situations where I did it to myself."Lincecum's day began with back-to-back walks to Prado and No. 2 hitter Jason Heyward and still escaped the first facing the minimum. Prado was caught stealing, then Freddie Freeman grounded into a double play after Heyward reached.Lincecum received a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti after a one-out single to Nate McLouth and a walk to Hudson in the third. Prado then singled in Atlanta's first run to tie the game. McLouth scored that run and then again on Prado's go-ahead single in the fifth. Prado reached on a fielder's choice in the seventh for another RBI.Gonzalez rested Chipper Jones as planned, but Jones also was nursing a sore right knee that wasn't considered serious. McCann is likely to sit out Sunday's series finale, with Jones back in the lineup for his 39th birthday. Gonzalez doesn't want both stars on the bench the same days if possible. Cody Ross had his first hit and drove in his first run of the season after being activated from the disabled list earlier in the week.
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Burrell hit a one-out double in the second and easily beat a close play at the plate to score on Ross' ensuing single. After that inning, Hudson allowed only three more baserunners to reach second.Giants Sunday starter Jonathan Sanchez was fighting a flu bug that required him to receive an IV for dehydration, but manager Bruce Bochy expected the left-hander to make his start.NOTES: Hudson improved to 2-2 in six regular-season starts at AT&T Park. ... Lincecum singled leading off the fifth for his first hit of the year after an 0-for-10 start. ... Freeman singled in the ninth to reach base safely for the 15th time in 16 games. ... Neither injured Giants CF Andres Torres (strained left Achilles' tendon) nor RHP reliever Santiago Casilla (inflamed pitching elbow) will make the team's upcoming 10-game East Coast road trip. Instead, they will travel to Arizona to rehabilitate and perhaps get into some extended spring training games. ... San Francisco drew 42,395 fans for its eighth sellout in as many home games this year.

Giants get blanked by Braves, now have lowest-scoring team in majors

Giants get blanked by Braves, now have lowest-scoring team in majors

SAN FRANCISCO — Over in Cleveland earlier Friday, Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer for the visiting team and five other players chipped in a pair of hits. The Royals had six runs, which meant that when Jim Johnson closed the Giants out a few hours later, what has seemed true all season became officially true. The Giants have the lowest-scoring lineup in the majors.

At 3.32 runs per game, they have dipped below the equally-disappointing Royals (3.38). They are capable at the moment of making any pitching staff look dominant. A 2-0 shutout was the first of the year for the Braves, who previously had just two games this season where they allowed fewer than two runs. 

“Six runs in (the last) four games … I thought we would come home and get some rips in tonight, but it didn’t happen,” Bruce Bochy said. 

The manager’s frustration showed late in this one. After the only rally of the game — a two-run single by opposing pitcher Jaime Garcia — Bochy took his cap off and rubbed his forehead. He dipped his head and briefly stood as if he was going to fall asleep on the rail. The bats were equally still. 

The Giants had just four hits, all of them singles against Garcia, who is a nice pitcher but hardly one of the league’s best. One was an infield single by Eduardo Nuñez, another a single through Garcia’s five-hole, and a third a generous ruling by the official scorekeeper. 

“It comes down to, you’ve got to get some hits and create opportunities, and we’re not doing it very often,” Bochy said. “It’s just a matter of guys getting somewhat hot. We did, we had some success, and we won some games. The thing you like to see is some good cuts and I didn’t think we got enough of those tonight.”

That run, which spanned the last homestand and small parts of two road trips, has come to a screeching halt. The Giants have lost five of six. It seems silly to scoreboard-watch in May, especially when a team is playing like this, but it’s worth noting that the teams the Giants eventually need to catch keep winning. They fell 12 games back of the Rockies and 11 back of the streaking Diamondbacks. They are 9 1/2 back of the Dodgers, who might be the best team in the whole league. 

Matt Cain did his part to allow the Giants to keep pace. He got beat just once in seven sharp innings. The Giants intentionally walked Dansby Swanson to get to Garcia, who bounced a single into left. Brandon Belt had a play at the plate, but his throw was short and hit the runner. A second run scored. 

“That’s tough,” Cain said. “(Garcia) was throwing the ball really good and that’s what it comes down to, you’re looking for that one hit and he did it. He’s a good hitter. We’ve seen it in St. Louis. But it definitely is tough when the pitcher does that … it just stinks on my part to give up a hit to the opposing pitcher.”

Lowrie's big hit sparks A's, gets road trip started right

Lowrie's big hit sparks A's, gets road trip started right

NEW YORK — Jed Lowrie is the counterpoint to the A’s home run-crazed offensive attack.

Sure, the A’s switch-hitting second baseman can muscle up and clear the fence. But Lowrie’s approach is more about spraying base hits all around and using the whole field. He was at it again in Friday’s 4-1 A’s victory over the Yankees, going 3-for-4 and delivering an RBI single that snapped a scoreless tie in the eighth.

“I always have to carry his glove out to second for him because he’s always on base,” shortstop Adam Rosales said. “He looks really good at the plate right now, and he’s kind of just putting us on his back. It’s contagious to see a guy like that doing so well.”

Lowrie bumped his average up to .310 with Friday’s game. Until he grounded out in the sixth, he’d notched hits in seven consecutive at-bats dating back to Tuesday night. That streak fell one shy of the A’s record for most consecutive hits. Three players share the record at eight — Josh Reddick (in 2016), Dave Magadan (1997) and Brent Gates (1994).

“It’s all about the work,” said Lowrie, whose 15 doubles are tied for third in the AL. “Everything comes together when you’re seeing it well. I’m seeing it well but the approach hasn’t changed.”

With two runners aboard and two out in the eighth, Lowrie punched an RBI single to right off Tyler Clippard for the game’s first run. It was the breakthrough the A’s needed after they’d struck out 13 times in seven innings against Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. Khris Davis followed Lowrie’s hit by beating out an infield single to score another run. Then Stephen Vogt added a two-run homer in top of the ninth to make it 4-0, and that provided some cushion as closer Santiago Casilla gave up a run and made things tenser than they should have been in the bottom half.

Davis, the most fearsome hitter in Oakland’s lineup, is thrilled to have a productive Lowrie batting in front of him as the No. 3 man.

“Somebody’s gotta hit .300,” Davis said. “All year he’s been our most consistent hitter and best hitter. I hope he keeps going.”

The A’s have won four in a row at Yankee Stadium dating back to last year. It’s their longest winning streak in the Bronx since a four-gamer at the old stadium in 2006. And it was a good way to begin a seven-game road trip for the A’s, who came in with the league’s worst road record at 6-15.

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Rosales had puffiness under his right eye and said he was anticipating a shiner after his hard head-first dive into third base didn’t go as planned in the eighth. He scraped up his face pretty good after going first to third on an errant pickoff throw and taking a hard dive into third, only to find the dirt wasn’t giving.

After addressing reporters, Rosales said he was on his way to find an ice pack.