Tim Lincecum earned his seventh win of the year, and the Giants avoided the sweep as they topped the Mariners 6-2 on a sunny Tuesday at the ballpark.
The stagnant Giants offense didn’t waste much time getting on the board. Buster Posey led off the bottom of the second with a single before Matt Duffy crushed his sixth home run of the season into the left-field bleachers to make it 2-0.
Another extra-base hit in the fifth helped extend the lead. Andrew Susac led off with a double and eventually scored on a two-out RBI single from Angel Pagan. Pagan had three hits in the last two days after resting on Sunday.
The Mariners chipped away at the lead, with Brad Miller leading the way. Miller’s solo shot to lead off the fifth got Seattle on the board and his RBI single scored Kyle Seager in the sixth to make it a one-run game.
But San Francisco’s bullpen held firm once again. George Kontos entered the game with two on and two out in the top of the sixth and got Mike Zunino to fly out to preserve the lead. Kontos has now inherited 16 runners this season and none of them have scored. Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo, and Santiago Casilla combined with Kontos to not allow a Mariners base runner for the rest of the game.
Lincecum (7-3, 3.31) has enjoyed seeing Kontos gain confidence, especially since he almost missed making the big league roster out of Spring Training.
“Obviously he’s got a lot of confidence in all his pitches, and that helps anybody coming out the bullpen. He’s got lots of movement on his breaking stuff and his two-seamers…and I think just the confidence he has in his stuff is the biggest separator from the success he’s had.”
For the Giants starter, it was more of a battle, but he kept his team in the game. Lincecum lasted 5.2 innings and allowed five hits, two runs, and four walks while striking out three. It was enough for his seventh win, which he didn’t earned until July 1 last season.
San Francisco’s offense added some insurance in the bottom of the eighth. With two outs, Posey and Brandon Crawford worked back-to-back walks before Duffy singled in Posey. Pinch-hitter Casey McGehee then broke the game open with a two-out double to right field, scoring two and giving the Giants the most runs they’ve scored on this homestand.
Lincecum enjoyed the way the team came together after a rough few games at AT&T.
“It’s fun to watch us fight and just battle the way through our game, especially with all the stuff we’ve been going through lately here. To come up with six runs, that’s a good day for us…just an overall good day for us.”
Was there any extra joy in beating his home-town Mariners?
“I think that I try to beat any team that I go up against, it’s just another added bonus when it’s a team you grew up watching, but at the end of the day it’s still just one win.”
The Giants will now head to Seattle for a two-game set. Madison Bumgarner (7-3, 3.16) will take on Felix Hernandez (9-3, 3.38) on Wednesday night at 7:10 PT.