Garko drives in four in Giants’ win over Reds |

Garko drives in four in Giants’ win over Reds

The Associated Press

CINCINNATI – San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum was far from his best on Tuesday night. Ryan Garko bailed him out.

Garko’s two-run double in the 10th inning completed San Francisco’s comeback from a four-run deficit and helped the Giants to an 8-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

With Pablo Sandoval on second and Randy Winn on first, Garko hit a line drive up the left-center field gap off Francisco Cordero (1-3). He finished with four RBIs, as many as he had in his first 17 games after being acquired by San Francisco from Cleveland on July 27.

Garko admitted he might have been pressing since joining the Giants.

“My first time in the organization and being on a team in the race, I’m sure it’s in the back of my mind,” he said. “I don’t think about it when I’m on the field, but I’m human. I’m sure it creeps into your head.”

Juan Uribe added a sacrifice fly as the Giants sent the Reds to their fourth straight loss and fifth in the last six games.

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Bob Howry (1-5) pitched a perfect ninth to get the win. Brian Wilson allowed a double, but picked up his 29th save.

The Giants’ third win in four games allowed them to stay one game behind Colorado, which beat Washington 4-3, in the NL wild card.

Manager Bruce Bochy was happy to see the Giants rally and pick up Lincecum.

“That was one of our better (comebacks),” Bochy said. “That’s an area where we haven’t done too well.”

Lincecum, who went into the game leading the majors with a 2.19 ERA, gave up as many earned runs in Cincinnati’s four-run second inning as he had in his last four starts combined. The Reds batted around in the inning.

After intentionally walking Ryan Hanigan to load the bases with one out, Lincecum walked Paul Janish to force in a run.

“We scored five off of Lincecum, and that’s rare,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He didn’t have his best stuff tonight. For him to walk in a run is rare. His velocity was down, too.”

Reds starter Homer Bailey, 0 for 18 going into the game, followed with a two-run single down the first base line, his first hit and RBIs of the season. Bochy argued the ball was foul, vehemently enough to be ejected by first base umpire Marvin Hudson.

Chris Dickerson added an RBI single to make it 4-0 and give the Reds as many hits in the inning as Lincecum had allowed in his last game.

“I just wasn’t myself tonight,” Lincecum said. “I was trying to battle and keep us in the game.”

Uribe hit his fifth homer of the season with one out in the third, but Joey Votto restored Cincinnati’s four-run lead in the fifth with his 18th of the season and first in 51 at-bats since Aug. 2.

Votto’s homer was the first off Lincecum in five starts since Atlanta’s Yunel Escobar hit a three-run shot in the Braves’ 4-2 win on July 22 – Lincecum’s last loss.

San Francisco tied the game in the sixth on Winn’s two-run double with the bases loaded and Garko’s two-run single.

“Garko can hit,” Bochy said. “He had some good at-bats tonight. When he got here, he tried to do too much, but we’ll throw him out there.”

“It was good to come through with runners on base,” Garko said. “I think it’s important to have an approach with men on base.”

Bailey left after walking the next batter. He was charged with five runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.

“They’re playing for the wild card,” Bailey said of the Giants. “They’re a good team. What can you say? In that inning, I was off by minute amounts. Nobody had any suggestions, including myself.”

Lincecum, last season’s Cy Young Award winner, finished with his third straight no-decision – his second such streak of the season. He allowed six hits and five runs with three walks and a season-low two strikeouts.

“It’s fair to say he wasn’t at the top of his game,” Bochy said.

NOTES: Reds CF Willy Taveras left the game after seven innings with a right quadriceps strain. … Bochy gave 2B Freddy Sanchez the day off to nurse his sore left shoulder. “It’s kind of a day-to-day thing,” Bochy said. “He said he wanted to play, but he needs a day. It’s pretty sore.” … Bailey left tickets for tennis star and fellow Texas resident Andy Roddick, who is in Cincinnati for a tournament. Roddick, ranked fifth on the ATP Tour, sat in the first row behind the Reds dugout.

Yankees 7, Athletics 2

OAKLAND – CC Sabathia heard the cheers when he walked to the bullpen and even more when he was introduced to the crowd in the stadium he used to come to as a kid. He finally gave his friends and family a start to cheer about in Oakland as well.

Sabathia pitched eight sharp innings to win in Oakland for the first time in six years, leading the New York Yankees to a 7-2 victory over the Athletics on Tuesday night.

“It means a lot,” Sabathia said. “I feel like every time I come here, this is going to be the night I pitch well. Tonight just happened to be the night. … I can put that behind me and go forward now.”

Derek Jeter had his third straight three-hit game and also knocked in the go-ahead run in a five-run sixth inning that helped Sabathia win his 10th straight August start and the Yankees snap a two-game skid.

“This was a big win for us,” manager Joe Girardi said. “You do want to stop it.”

Sabathia (14-7) grew up going to games at the Coliseum, but has always struggled pitching here with a 1-4 record and 7.12 ERA in eight starts before Tuesday. He had no such problems this game, winning for the first time in Oakland since July 30, 2003, with Cleveland.

Sabathia gave up solo homers in the first two innings to Kurt Suzuki and Tommy Everidge that were coincidentally hit in the vicinity of where his season tickets for Raiders games are located. But he retired Ryan Sweeney with the bases loaded to get out of a fourth-inning jam and cruised the rest of the way.

He allowed five hits and struck out seven in eight innings in a crisp 94-pitch performance front of about 150 friends and family members.

“He got into the one jam with the bases loaded but that was pretty much it,” Jeter said. “He was throwing strikes, working quick, the pitch count was down. He pretty much just continued what he’s been doing.”

Sabathia didn’t endear himself to the crowd when he brushed back Suzuki with two outs and nobody on in the first inning – apparent retaliation for Alex Rodriguez getting hit on the left elbow. Home plate umpire Gerry Layne immediately warned both teams. Then on the next pitch Suzuki got his own form of revenge with his 10th homer of the season.

The game was tied at 2 when the Yankees broke it open with five runs in the sixth against the A’s bullpen. The inning featured a comical moment when Melky Cabrera tried to avoid a pitch from Jay Marshall but got hit and ended up tripping over Suzuki, drawing laughs from his teammates.

Jeter followed with his RBI single that gave the Yankees the lead and the captain his third straight three-hit game. Johnny Damon added an RBI double, Rodriguez drove in a run when he walked with the bases loaded, Hideki Matsui hit an RBI single and Jorge Posada capped the inning with a sacrifice fly. Marshall (0-1) allowed four runs while retiring only one batter.

“Jay was sharp his last time out but his command wasn’t there tonight,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “He’s young and he’ll get a lot more opportunities.”

Jeter is in the middle of quite a stretch, batting (20-for-36) over his past nine games. He also reached on two of Oakland’s four errors, including one by third baseman Adam Kennedy that gave New York its first run.

“He’s been good all year for us,” Girardi said. “He’s done a good job in that leadoff spot. He’s sparked so many things.”

The Yankees loaded the bases in the first and fourth inning without scoring as Vin Mazzaro struck out Posada to end the first threat and got Mark Teixeira to hit into a double play to end the other.

NOTES: Girardi spent the morning watching a joint practice between the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers as a guest of Niners coach Mike Singletary. Girardi met former Raiders coach John Madden and owner Al Davis. “Mr. Davis told me to tell Mr. Steinbrenner, ‘Hi,”‘ Girardi said. … The Yankees, who lead the majors with 182 homers, failed to go deep for the second straight game. … Yankees OF Brett Gardner will need to keep the splint on his broken left thumb on for another week and Girardi said he will probably need 10 days after that before he can return to the majors. … Kennedy had his first career four strikeout game and also committed an error.