LOS ANGELES (CBS / AP) — One bad inning cost Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants a victory.
This time, it wasn’t the first, which has been Lincecum’s worst inning so far this season.
Instead, he faltered in the fourth, when Tony Gwynn Jr. roped a go-ahead three-run triple in the Dodgers’ 6-2 win on Wednesday night.
“You’re questioning yourself during games and during situations like that,” Lincecum said. “It’s just about execution. That’s what it comes down to—making a better pitch in a situation where you’re ahead in the count, it’s in your favor and you’ve got their guy guessing. So why give the guy a cookie down the middle that he can see well?”
Lincecum (2-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out eight, including NL home run leader Matt Kemp three times, and walked two in losing for the first time since April 16 against Philadelphia.
The right-hander extended his winless streak against the Dodgers to 0-4 dating to last season. The two-time NL Cy Young winner got out of the first having allowed just two hits.
“He had good stuff. He just made mistakes in that big inning,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He got ahead in the count and got the ball up and they took advantage of it. It’s too bad really because he had his stuff and was throwing the ball well. He had two strikes on Gwynn, and the ball just stayed up and it did the damage.”
Kemp, who came in batting .500 in his 11 previous home games against the Giants, went 0 for 5.
The Dodgers scored four runs in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead. Lincecum gave up a leadoff double to Andre Ethier and Bobby Abreu followed with a single. Juan Uribe drove in Ethier with a single to third that Joaquin Arias, who fell down before he could get off the throw to first. A.J. Ellis walked one out later and Gwynn cleared the bases with a drive into deep right field while batting for Chad Billingsley.
“It was nice getting through those first three, but dealing with that fourth wasn’t easy,” Lincecum said. “I didn’t put us in an easy spot. I just tried to pitch a little more aggressively and took my bullpen a little more seriously before the game as if it’s another inning.”
Lincecum drove in the Giants’ first run with a single to shortstop in the second.
In the fifth, Nate Schierholtz ran into a critical out that helped kill a Giants’ rally.
Buster Posey’s RBI single in the third extended the Giants’ lead to 2-0. Brandon Belt reached on a fielder’s choice grounder and Schierholtz singled him to second. Arias had a single to center, and Kemp charged the ball, throwing to second baseman Adam Kennedy for the tag on Schierholtz, who had rounded the bag and was tagged out before Belt could cross the plate.
“I read the ball in the gap and I thought I had a chance possibly to go to third, but I took one step too many and tried to get back, but he made a perfect throw,” Schierholtz said. “I was overaggressive, but that’s how I play the game. We’ve worked on going from first to third. It was just a lack of judgment on my part.”
Jamey Wright (2-2) pitched two perfect innings and struck out two for the victory.
Notes: The Giants lost their first rubber game of the season, while the Dodgers won their first. … Dodgers OF Alfredo Silverio, who was seriously hurt in an offseason car accident, had Tommy John surgery on his right throwing elbow and is out for the season. … Dodgers OF-1B Juan Rivera was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with what the team called a significant strained left hamstring. Manager Don Mattingly said Rivera would be out longer than two weeks. … Dodgers INF Jerry Hairston had a MRI on his strained left hamstring after missing his third straight game. He said he would be evaluated either Thursday or Friday. … Giants OF Angel Pagan was held out of the starting lineup although he felt well enough to play. He had a cramp in his left hamstring while beating out an infield single Tuesday. Gregor Blanco replaced him.
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