Giants, Lincecum down Dbacks, 5-0

San Jose Mercury NewsJuly 12, 2014 

SAN FRANCISCO_The San Francisco Giants welcomed back a familiar face Friday with Marco Scutaro's activation from the disabled list.

Meanwhile, Tim Lincecum continued to deliver the results that were once so familiar during his dominant years.

Lincecum allowed three hits over seven scoreless innings to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0, winning his fourth straight start and continuing the conversation of a career transformation.

While the Giants have barely been treading water over the past month, Lincecum has thrived. Beginning with his no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on June 25, Lincecum has gone 4-0 with a 0.30 ERA (one run in 30 1/3 innings).

During that time, he's lowered his ERA for the season from 4.90 to 3.66. He's now tied with Madison Bumgarner for the team lead in wins, and his 9-5 record is the best on the starting staff.

Lincecum's hot streak hasn't done much to get the Giants out of their funk yet, but he's won four straight starts for the first time since the start of the 2010 season and has become their most reliable pitcher. His 27 straight scoreless innings at home are the most since Ryan Jensen in 2002.

Friday's game had a positive vibe early, starting with Lincecum retiring nemesis Paul Goldschmidt to end the first inning. Goldschmidt entered the night with seven home runs and 15 hits in 26 career at bats against Lincecum but went 0 for 2 with a walk Friday night.

Pablo Sandoval gave the Giants a quick lead with a two-run home run in the first inning, and they added on in the second thanks to the bottom of the order.

The Nos. 6-8 hitters all reached to start the inning. Tyler Colvin singled, Joe Panik walked and Brandon Crawford singled home Colvin. Lincecum helped himself when he put down a safety squeeze bunt to score Panik for a 4-0 lead.

That was more than Lincecum needed as he continued his dominant run. With his mid-90s unlikely to come back, he displayed command of his fastball and good use of his secondary pitches to keep the Diamondbacks off balance.

The Giants didn't use him Friday, but Scutaro was available off the bench, and manager Bruce Bochy said he'll start Saturday's game at second base. With Scutaro's activation from the 60-day disabled list, Brandon Hicks was designated for assignment to make room on the 25- and 40-man rosters.

Scutaro acknowledged that his sore back, which has kept him out all season, isn't 100 percent and likely won't ever be but improved enough for him to make his return.

"My back is better, but it's not the way it used to be a couple years ago," Scutaro, 38, said. "Pain is still there a little bit. Sometimes I have good days or bad days. I'm just going to try to go day by day. There's going to be days I'm going to be really sore and not going to be able to play."

Bochy said that even if Scutaro can play only two or three days a week, he'll still be a valuable piece off the bench and a presence in the locker room.

"He's one of our guys," Bochy said. "He's one of the core players that we envisioned playing with us breaking spring training. His experience, the veteran leadership that he provides, that's invaluable."

The Giants signed first-round pick Tyler Beede, a right-handed pitcher from Vanderbilt. He met before the game with Bochy and watched batting practice from the dugout.

"Everything's just happening really fast," Beede said of his first official day with the organization. "I was just out in the dugout getting a few interviews done, and this was the first time I've ever been to the stadium so I was simultaneously looking around, taking in the sights, being a tourist here for a little bit. It's very exciting to be here, and I couldn't be happier for sure."

Beede will report to Arizona to begin a throwing program and eventually join the Giants' Rookie League team. He compared his pitching style to those of Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong, as well as the St. Louis Cardinals' Michael Wacha. He throws a fastball that can reach the mid-90s along with a changeup and curveball.

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