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Lincecum baffles struggling D-backs

Lincecum baffles struggling D-backs
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Tim Lincecum struck out nine, Bengie Molina hit a three-run homer and San Francisco sent the slumping Arizona Diamondbacks to their fourth straight defeat with a 6-2 victory Monday night.

Lincecum had a shot at his first career complete game but loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, giving way to Alex Hinshaw to a standing ovation following his 127-pitch gem.

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The Diamondbacks have lost seven of nine and fell out of first place over the weekend when they were swept by the Dodgers. Arizona remained 1 1/2 behind the Dodgers in the NL West because Los Angeles lost 4-0 to San Diego.

"We have struggled the last two weeks, but nobody has broken away," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said. "It's still up for grabs."

In the ninth, Lincecum allowed a one-out single to Adam Dunn and then Conor Jackson's double for Arizona's seventh hit of the game before walking Mark Reynolds. Lincecum's 8 1-3 innings were a career best.

Pinch-hitter Jamie D'Antona drove in a run in the ninth for Arizona, which scored another on an error by Hinshaw.

The Giants got four straight hits off Arizona starter Yusmeiro Petit (3-5) to start their five-run third, including Molina's 12th home run and an RBI single by Pablo Sandoval that broke a scoreless tie. Dave Roberts drew a bases-loaded walk to force in a run and that was it for Petit.

Lincecum, the Giants' All-Star right-hander (16-3), reclaimed the major league lead for strikeouts at 225, ahead of CC Sabathia's 217 for Cleveland and now Milwaukee. He lowered his NL-leading ERA from 2.60 to 2.54.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy went with a veteran lineup to back Lincecum and San Francisco ended a five-game home losing streak to its NL West rival. The Giants snapped a three-game overall skid to Arizona.

San Francisco batted around in an inning for the second straight day after a 10-run inning in Sunday's 11-6 win - San Francisco's most runs in a game this season.

Lincecum — doing his best to make a bid for the NL Cy Young Award along with Arizona ace and 19-game winner Brandon Webb — struck out the side in the second. It was the 17th time this year Lincecum has struck out the side.

Just when Lincecum appeared to be in a bit of trouble, he came up big. Augie Ojeda drew a leadoff walk in the eighth, then Lincecum fell behind 2-0 against pinch-hitter Chad Tracy. Pitching coach Dave Righetti paid Lincecum a mound visit and Tracy grounded into a double play.

San Francisco's 11-time Gold Glove shortstop Omar Vizquel, whose playing time has diminished in the second half, turned a pretty double play in the fifth in which he made a tough stop on Ojeda's grounder up the middle, brushed his right foot along second base to get Justin Upton before throwing out Ojeda at first.

San Francisco second baseman Emmanuel Burriss left the game in the top of the sixth after appearing to hurt his left side while running out a ball after batting in the bottom of the fifth.


Lincecum singled in the third for his 11th hit this year. He is 3-0 in five career starts against Arizona. ... Molina set a new career high with 82 RBIs. ... Sandoval is batting .385 (5-for-13) with eight RBIs during the first four games of San Francisco's homestand. ... Giants LHP starter Noah Lowry, out all year following forearm nerve surgery, threw another bullpen session and will soon face live hitters and report to instructional league in Arizona. He also plans to play winter ball to get back to his top form. "I'm happy to be back on the mound," Lowry said. "It's encouraging to be doing baseball work." ... San Francisco RHP reliever Osiris Matos will be out a couple of days nursing a strained back.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: September 9, 2008

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