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Tim Lincecum got the start for the San Francisco Giants (15-9) this afternoon against the Kansas City Royals (11-12) and hard throwing right hander Yordano Ventura in a spring training game from Scottsdale Stadium.
Lincecum’s first inning didn’t begin with much promise and his start ended in disaster.
After two pitches, the 29-year-old right hander had given up two singles to Brewers’ leadoff-man Nori Aoki and shortstop Alcides Escobar.
Lincecum bounced back.
After an Eric Hosmer strikeout on three pitches, Salvador Perez grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play and just six Lincecum pitches were thrown.
Two quick outs in the second seemed to indicate a smooth inning. But, Carlos Peguero doubled and Lorenzo Cain tripled in back-to-back at bats and the Royals were on the board first. Lincecum struck out Ventura to end the inning upping his total to three early on in the ball game.
Hunter Pence legged out an infield single for the Giants first hit in the bottom of the inning. After a Pence steal of second base, Gregor Blanco came up with the second hit. Pence came home on the single and the score was tied at one apiece.
The third inning pitted Lincecum against the top of the Royals order for the second time. The results were quite different.
Lincecum struck out both Aoki and Escobar on three pitches and got Hosmer to line out to Pablo Sandoval at third base for a quick 1-2-3 frame.
Brandon Belt doubled but was left stranded in the Giants’ half of the inning.
Lincecum gave up a leadoff home run to Perez over the head of Blanco in left, gave up a pair of singles and struck out a pair in the fourth.
San Francisco loaded the bases in the bottom half as Pence collected his second hit of the day, but came up empty.
The top of the fifth would not be kind to Timmy. After giving up a pair of singles – including an RBI hit from Mike Moustakas – Lincecum gave up a three-run homer to Jason Donald and a tape measure solo shot to Peguero in back-to-back at bats before being pulled by Bruce Bochy with the score 7-1.
All told, Lincecum went 4 2/3, gave up 11 hits, 7 earned runs, three HRs, walked one and struck out seven. His spring ERA rose to a lofty 6.52.
The bats came alive in the 6th.
Brandon Crawford smacked his first home run of the spring, far beyond the 360-foot mark in right, for a two-run shot that also scored Blanco who had walked earlier in the inning.
Belt knocked in Juan Perez — who was pinch running for Mike Morse — on a single. San Francisco then loaded the bases and Hector Sanchez knocked in a pair with a bloop single, bringing the Giants to within 7-6.
Blanco came up to the plate for the second time in the inning – this time with two on — and smacked a triple. Kansas City struggled getting the ball back in and he scored on what we’ll call a ‘spring training’ inside-the-park home run and the Giants took a 9-7 lead.
Angel Pagan singled home Crawford and Perez in the 7th to extend the San Francisco lead to 11-7.
The Royals added a pair in the 8th off of Giants’ bullpen hopeful Derek Law but the Giants got them right back when Ehire Adrianza — batting left handed — walloped a two-run dinger in the bottom of the inning.
Sergio Romo came in and locked down the 9th and San Francisco came away with a 13-9 victory.
Just three Cactus League games remain before the Giants head to AT&T Park for the start of an exhibition series against the Oakland A’s on March 27.
Notable San Francisco stats
Lincecum: 4.2 IP, 11 hits, 7 R, 7 ER, BB, 7 Ks, 3 HRs
Dan Runzler: 1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 hits, 2.70 spring ERA
Derek Law: 0.1 IP, 2 hits, 2 R, 2 ER, BB
Pence: 2-4, R
Pagan: 2-5, R, 2 RBI
Blanco: 2-2, 3B, BB, 2 R, 3 RBI
Belt: 2-3, 2B, R, RBI, 2 BB
Crawford: 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR