Lincecum gets back on track for Giants
SAN FRANCISCO – Pat Burrell hit a go-ahead two-run homer in his Giants home debut back in his native Bay Area, helping Tim Lincecum end a four-start winless streak and lead San Francisco past the Oakland Athletics 6-2 on Friday night in the Bay Bridge Series.
Bengie Molina added a two-run shot of his own in the sixth off Gio Gonzalez (6-4), ending a 98 at-bat homerless streak.
The two runs from Burrell’s homer doubled the Giants’ total from all three games of a sweep by the A’s last month across the bay in Oakland. His first drive since joining San Francisco on June 4 also snapped a 22-inning scoreless streak against the A’s.
Lincecum (6-2), the two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, won for the first time since May 15 against Houston and ended a two-start skid at home.
Lincecum sure seems back on track. He allowed two runs on seven hits, struck out seven and walked one in eight innings.
Brian Wilson relieved Jeremy Affeldt in the ninth with two outs and runners on the corners, getting Cliff Pennington on a called third strike to end it for his 16th save in 18 chances.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy moved rookie Buster Posey up to the No. 3 hole for the first time and dropped the struggling Pablo Sandoval to seventh. Posey delivered with an RBI triple in the seventh, when San Francisco scored another run on Tyson Ross’ wild pitch.
The hit gave Posey a 10-game hitting streak, longest by an NL rookie in 2010.
Oakland’s Kevin Kouzmanoff extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI single in the first that scored Ryan Sweeney after he advanced twice on wild pitches. It took Lincecum 17 pitches to get through the inning. After that, he cruised.
Gabe Gross grounded out to end the first, starting a stretch in which Lincecum retired 16 of 17 batters and allowed only a one-out walk to Mark Ellis in the third before Kouzmanoff singled leading off the seventh. Jack Cust had a pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth for the A’s, who were managed by bench coach Tye Waller as Bob Geren was attending the high school graduation of his son, Bobby.
Gonzalez lost for the first time in six starts since a defeat May 12 at Texas. The lefty combined with closer Andrew Bailey on a three-hit shutout of San Francisco on May 22.
Gonzalez struck out on four pitches in his first career at-bat and first since 2006 while with Double-A Reading in the Phillies organization. He was 2 for 16 that season.
Ellis stole second against Lincecum in the third. Runners have gone 17 of 17 on steal attempts with Lincecum on the mound dating to last season, including 14 for 14 this year.
But Ellis also was called out in a close play at the plate in the first inning on a throw home from Posey at first.
The Giants improved to 5-0 while wearing their “Orange Friday” home jerseys, outscoring opponents 28-7.
NOTES: Giants LF Mark DeRosa, sidelined while dealing with numbness and nerve irritation in his left wrist and hand, was undergoing further tests Friday. A decision on the next step for him could be made in the coming days, and surgery is a possibility. … Oakland CF Rajai Davis, whose left hamstring tightened up on a triple Monday, missed his fourth straight start but was expected to return to the lineup Saturday. … C Landon Powell was called up from Triple-A Sacramento to replace Kurt Suzuki, who is on the bereavement list for the weekend series. … The Giants sold out for the eighth time this season (41,817).
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