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Giants happy to be home

Giants happy to be home
SAN FRANCISCO After returning from a nightmare trip, the Giants unloaded some baggage Friday night.

They rid themselves of a six-game losing streak by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-0 at AT&T Park. They did it behind a stellar outing from Jonathan Sanchez and Houdini acts from three relievers.

As an additional homecoming gift, Tim Lincecum pronounced himself healthy and ready to turn things around when he faces the Diamondbacks today in the second game of the series.

Rarely have the shores of McCovey Cove seemed so soothing.

"We knew we had to put a stop to it," Sanchez said, referring to the Giants' 0-6 swing through San Diego and Los Angeles. "And we went out and did it."

Sanchez pitched 62/3 shutout innings before Jeremy Affeldt, Bob Howry and Brian Wilson (first save) walked the tightrope the rest of the way.

The offense came from Bengie Molina, who drove in a run in the fifth, and from Andres Torres, who homered in the eighth.

It was Torres' second career home run. The other came in 2003. He celebrated this one by sprinting around the bases like Usain Bolt. Manager Bruce Bochy called it the fastest home-run trot he'd ever seen.

"It looked like an inside-the-parker," he said.

Then again, the Giants barely remember what a home-run trot looks like: It was only their sixth long ball of the season.

The Giants hope to keep the good vibes coming. They are especially encouraged that Lincecum, the reigning Cy Young Award winner, is feeling like himself again.

Medical tests Thursday revealed no serious problems with his ailing stomach. Doctors told him to take Prilosec, a common heartburn remedy, and Lincecum said he felt better almost immediately.

As a precaution, Lincecum also will stick to a bland diet until he can figure out what's bothering his stomach.

As for that other malady Lincecum's 7.56 ERA the pitcher found his own cure. While watching tape of his first two starts, he noticed how often his landing foot was out of whack.

Instead of his leg being directly toward home plate, Lincecum was landing with his foot slightly to the left or right. Swiveling in his chair to demonstrate, Lincecum said that his hip rotation was out of sync with his arm.

"A little bit can make a big difference," he said.

Lincecum has a tough act to follow. Sanchez delivered the type of performance the Giants keep expecting from their rotation. Before Friday, Giants starters were a combined 1-6 with a 7.42 ERA.

Sanchez surrendered a double to his first batter, Felipe Lopez, but then snapped into form and stayed there.

"Pure domination," Wilson called the outing.

Sanchez barely had a hint of trouble until two outs in the seventh, when Justin Upton doubled and Chris Snyder walked. That was Sanchez's final batter, as Affeldt entered and got pinch-hitter Tony Clark to line out to right field.

Howry wobbled in the eighth, when Lopez reached third with one out. But Howry got Conor Jackson looking on a borderline inside pitch and Wilson came on to strike out Mark Reynolds on a 98-mph fastball.

Coming off a trip in which they were outscored 42-14 and batted just .208, the Giants figured they would struggle again for runs against formidable Diamondbacks starter Dan Haren.

But they broke through in the fourth against Haren, who dropped to 0-3 despite a 1.89 ERA.

Pablo Sandoval started the rally with a two-out double to right and Molina drove him home with a single to left.

Contact Daniel Brown at 2, d'backs 0today: Diamondbacks (Doug Davis 0-2) at Giants (Tim Lincecum 0-1), 1:05 p.m. Radio: 680-AMinside Joe Martinez rejoins teammates after a hospital stay with a concussion and skull fractures. Page 3

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 18, 2009

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