Lincecum hit hard in Cactus League finale

Lincecum hit hard in Cactus League finale
March 23, 2014, 6:45 pm
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Just once in eight springs as a Giant has Tim Lincecum posted an exhibition ERA under 4.00. (AP IMAGES)

Programming note: Giants Insider Andrew Baggarly is in Arizona; check back for his coverage throughout spring training and watch SportsNet Central nightly at 6 and 10:30 p.m. for all the day’s MLB news.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Tim Lincecum wanted a pretty Cactus League ERA for once. He didn’t get it.

After allowing seven runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings Sunday, his final outing before the club breaks camp, Lincecum will leave here with a 6.52 ERA. Just once in eight springs as a Giant has he posted an exhibition ERA under 4.00.

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But unlike years past, Lincecum isn’t scrambling to get ready or getting stashed in minor league games. He is pleased with where he’s at, and so is Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

“Even today, scuffling the way I did, they were things I can fix,” said Lincecum, who noticed he was drifting off line and that caused his cutter to break over the plate. “I’m just glad I got my work in and I’ll take it.”

Although Lincecum had plenty of mistakes hit hard, the most damaging shot in the Giants' 13-9 victory over the Kansas City Royals – Jason Donald’s three-run home run – was a total Arizona airball that kept carrying over the head of right fielder Hunter Pence before it slipped over the fence. At AT&T Park, it would’ve been a routine out.

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You couldn’t say the same for Carlos Peguero’s home run, though. That was a mammoth shot that landed at the top of the berm in right-center field, and might have rolled into the men’s room.

Bochy confirmed Lincecum will begin as the No.4 starter, so he’ll get the last game of the season-opening series at Arizona. He’ll try to keep old nemesis Paul Goldschmidt from hitting any outfield swimming pools, or lavatories beyond.

“Today certainly inflated it (his ERA) but for the most part I really liked where he was with his pitches,” Bochy said. “He kept the ball down and commanded his fastball, and usually in the spring, that’s what’s been a battle for him.”

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