Instant Replay: Sandoval ignites Giants 5-0 win over D'backs

Instant Replay: Sandoval ignites Giants 5-0 win over D'backs
July 11, 2014, 9:15 pm
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Pablo Sandoval finished a triple shy of the cycle with three hits in four at-bats. (AP)


SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants still hold baseball's longest streak of games without scoring eight runs, but the five they plated in a shutout victory over the Diamondbacks at AT&T Park Friday night was pure tonic.

The win marked just the Giants' fifth in their last 20 home games and, approaching the All-Star break, put them in position to take their first home series since sweeping the Mets in early June.

Tim Lincecum was a major reason why, as he continued his stretch of dominance -- and didn't let Paul Goldschmidt beat him -- over seven brilliant innings of work.

The Giants are now 32-4 this year when scoring five or more runs. They are 19-38 when they don't.

With the Padres 6-3 win over the Dodgers, the Giants reclaim a share of first place in the division at 51-42.

It's been 35 games since the Giants put up an eight spot, the longest active streak in the bigs and the franchise's longest such streak since 2008, when they went 52 games without scoring more than seven runs.

Starting pitcher report
Since Lincecum no-hit the Padres on June 25, the Giants' slight right-hander has flashed the nasty stuff and vice-tight mental focus that earned him back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009.

For the first time since 2010, Lincecum has won four consecutive outings, exercising his recent demons against the Diamondbacks on Orange Friday in the process.

Lincecum, who was 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA in three starts against Arizona this season, has allowed exactly one earned run over 30.1 innings of work for a minuscule 0.30 ERA since starting the no-no.

Paul Goldschmidt, who owns Lincecum like no other man on Earth, entered with 15 hits in 26 chances (.577), seven of which have left the yard.

Goldschmidt went hitless on Friday, though he did draw a fourth-inning walk, which marked the 31st consecutive game the Diamondbacks' slugger has reached base safely, tying his career high.

After striking out Gerardo Parra to end the seventh, Lincecum walked off the mound to a roaring ovation, in line for his ninth win of the season.

Lincecum's final line: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 101 P, W.

Bullpen report
Juan Gutierrez took over for Lincecum in the eighth and gave up a single to former Giant Cody Ross before getting Aaron Hill to ground into the inning-ending double play.

After getting one out in the ninth, Goldschmidt's single chased Gutierrez as Bochy called on Jeremy Affeldt to get the game's final two outs.

No action for Javier Lopez, who celebrated his 37th birthday.

At the plate
The Giants have been dead cold at the plate, averaging 2.83 runs per game since June 9, fewer than every team save the Padres. But Friday night was a different story, as the Giants staged rallies in each of the first two innings to score four runs, and added another in the fifth.

Pablo Sandoval entered the game 4-for-his-last-24 (.167), but he broke out in a major way. He finished a triple shy of the cycle with three hits in four at-bats, three RBI and a run scored.

Following a first-inning single from Brandon Belt, Sandoval connected on a mistake from Mike Bolsinger, turning around a hanging, 88-mph offspeed pitch into the right-field bleachers for an early 2-0 Giants lead. Sandoval also delivered the Giants' fifth run when his fifth-inning double scored Hunter Pence.

The Giants hit 69 home runs in their first 63 games, good for fourth in the bigs. Entering Friday, though, they'd hit just 14 home runs in their last 30 games, the fewest of any team in the majors.

The bottom half of the order rallied for two runs in the second inning, when Brandon Crawford singled home Tyler Colvin and Joe Panik made a sound read on a safety squeeze, scoring from third on Lincecum's sacrifice bunt.

Still, the Giants squandered opportunities, going just 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. San Francisco is now 5-for-39 (.128) with runners in scoring position over its last five games.

In the field
The Giants played clean defense behind Lincecum, which had to make manager Bruce Bochy feel good after scheduling rare midseason infield, outfield and pitchers fielding practice prior to the game.

Michael Morse made a nice catch in left field, reaching down at full speed to haul in Didi Gregorius' shallow fly ball down the line in the third inning.

Hector Sanchez channeled Benito Santiago in the fourth inning, throwing from his knees to cut down would-be base stealer Goldschmidt before a double by Miguel Montero. Sanchez has thrown out nine of 28 attempted stealers this season (.321).

The Giants announced a paid attendance of 41,647 on Orange Friday, which rose to its collective feet each time Lincecum sent Goldschmidt back to the dugout. First-round draft pick Tyler Beede and his folks were present for the 297th consecutive regular season sellout at AT&T Park, the longest such streak in the majors.

[RELATED: Giants' Beede already comfortable in first AT&T visit]

Up next
The Diamondbacks and Giants continue their three-game series on Saturday afternoon, playing their penultimate game before the All-Star break. Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (5-6, 3.92) will face left-hander Wade Miley (4-6, 4.43). Giants Pregame Live gets you ready at 12:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.


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