It hasn’t been the best of stars this season for Tim Lincecum, but in a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves he put on his best performance of 2014 to lead the San Francisco Giants in a series opening win, helped out by some big hits from Tyler Colvin who had a home run and a triple.
Lincecum (3-2, 4.78 ERA) struck out 11 batters in 7.2 innings, allowing just two hits and one run. He was heading into a no-hitter through the first four innings before slightly ruining his perfect beginning. His only mistake throughout the game was giving up a home run to B.J. Upton, but for most of the evening, the Braves couldn’t get anything going against the two-time Cy Young winner and those who came after him, including Sergio Romo who got his 13th save of the season.
The result today was the best of any game I’ve had so far. It’s pretty special here every time these guys give you something like that. I’m not one to be the big acknowledger of something like that, it’s kind of hard for me, but I definitely take it in and definitely appreciate it.
Lincecum rarely makes any gesture to the home fans when he walks off the mound, but this time he got a standing ovation from the 41,438 inside AT&T Park as he had his first of the last eight starts that went beyond the sixth inning. It was the 36th time of his career with 10 or more batters struck out, and his first such performance since July of 2013 against the Chicago Cubs.
It wasn’t just Lincecum in the game. Angel Pagan was 3-of-4 at the plate although that amounted to nothing. The Giants got their runs from the 6-7-8 trio of Hector Sanchez, Brandon Crawford and Tyler Colvin. Brandon Hicks also got an RBI with a big single in the 7th inning to put the Giants three runs in front, helping Colvin get a run. It was Colvin with 2-for-3 that was the most impressive of the lineup’s bottom order.
He got his first home run of the season in the second inning as the ball landed in the bay and followed that up with a triple in the 7th inning to score both Sanchez and Crawford, breaking a 1-1 tie. Freddie Freeman got a home run in the ninth to put the Braves back within touching distance, but that was the last time any Atlanta Braves player connected with a pitch.
Colvin was playing for only the third time this season, getting his first home run and RBIs (3 in total) of 2014. The 28-year old played only 27 times last season for the Rockies, but is hoping to come back to his 2013 form, when he hit a .327 for 18 home runs and 72 RBIs through 136 games. With the win, the Giants improve to 25-14, taking a 2.5 game lead over the Rockies in the NL West.