Giants beat Rockies
DENVER—No question, Tim Lincecum is getting better. Especially away from San Francisco.
Lincecum pitched effectively for six innings to extend his road winning streak to a career-best five straight, Brandon Crawford doubled twice and drove in two runs, and the Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 8-3 last night, opening a seven-game lead over the Dodgers atop the NL West.
Lincecum (9-14), who allowed three runs on six hits, has figured prominently in that run of success, going 5-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his last five road starts. The two-time NL Cy Young award winner had struggled on the road earlier, going 1-6 with a 9.00 ERA through his first 10 starts away from home.
“Right now, I’m not pitching great but I am getting out of jams,” said Lincecum, who finished with four walks and eight strikeouts, punching out the final batter he faced, Dexter Fowler, on three pitches to end a one on, two-out threat in the sixth.
“I’m playing with a fine line there, walking a lot of guys, but getting out of it gives me the confidence to know that if I get into a jam, I can get out of it and my team is going to get me out of it, too.”
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said Lincecum has been coming on strong, along with the rest of the team.
“He has really elevated his game,” Bochy said. “He’s gotten on track, which is huge for us. Some of the other guys have had some hiccups and he has picked us up.”
Jeff Francis (5-5) couldn’t recover from a tough first inning and took the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits in three innings. He struck out five and walked none.
“A few bad pitches and they came out ready to swing,” Francis said. “It wasn’t anything about me not feeling good or not trying to be aggressive. I made some mistakes, they hit them. That turns it into a long inning.”
Down 6-2 in the sixth after Crawford doubled for the second time and scored on Scutaro’s second single, the Rockies added a run in their half of the sixth on Charlie Blackmon’s pinch-hit RBI double.
But the Giants added a pair of runs in the ninth on a run-scoring triple by Hunter Pence and Joaquin Arias’ sacrifice fly.
“That’s what we’ve been doing,” Crawford said of a Giants offence that had each starter except the pitcher get at least one hit. “Pretty much 1-through-9 has been coming through for us and that’s what we did again tonight.
“I think we’re a confident group right now whether it’s at home or on the road. It’s definitely good that we feel comfortable on the road and we’re getting those wins and hopefully we can keep it going.”
Elsewhere in the NL yesterday, it was: Nationals 2, Mets 0; Reds 2, Pirates 1; Padres 3, Cardinals 2; Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 2; Brewers 8, Braves 2; And Cubs 5, Astros 1.