WASHINGTON (AP)—Tim Lincecum’s second season in the majors is going so well he’s even getting the calls when he’s at the plate.
Lincecum pitched seven sharp innings to win his fourth straight decision and drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 10-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
Lincecum (8-1) gave up one run and five hits, struck out five and walked none. He didn’t allow a hit until Lastings Milledge singled with two outs in the fourth and lowered his ERA to 2.15.
The right-hander, who turns 24 this month, went 7-5 with a 4.00 ERA during his rookie season and seems to be well on his way to avoiding a sophomore slump.
“I’m not going to talk about it. We don’t use that word around here,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s kind of like mentioning the word ‘shank’ on the golf course.”
The Giants backed Lincecum with seven runs in the third, capped off by Jose Castillo’s three-run homer. Jason Bergmann (1-3) walked Lincecum to force in one run, Fred Lewis had a two-run single and Ray Durham also singled in a run.
Bochy said Lincecum’s at-bat was awfully important.
“We had some hits there with not much to show for it. Eight hits, and we had only two runs. We hit some balls right at them,” Bochy said. “That walk kept the rally going.”
Lincecum wasn’t sure he deserved his third RBI of the season—he was sure Bergmann’s 3-2 pitch was a strike.
“It looked down the middle to me,” Lincecum said. “I probably don’t have that good strike zone awareness or the ability to make contact.”
Castillo came up with runners on first and third and two outs. He popped a ball into foul ground behind first base. Aaron Boone approached the stands and the ball slid off his glove for an error.
Given a reprieve, Castillo hit a drive into the right-center field bleachers for his fifth homer of the season to make it 8-0. The seven-run third was the Giants’ biggest inning of the season.
Elijah Dukes had an RBI double for Washington, which has lost eight of 11.
“Lincecum was way too good,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said. “I don’t think even the ’27 Yankees want to fall behind 8-0 with Lincecum on the mound.”
Bergmann allowed eight runs—five earned—and 10 hits in three innings. He walked two and struck out none.
“I didn’t have it,” Bergmann said. “It just seemed like the game plan that we had before the game was exactly their hitting plan against me, whether I missed pitches or made the pitch or kept it off the plate or whatnot.”
Emmanuel Burriss, a Washington native, played the final two innings at shortstop for San Francisco. He singled in his only at-bat. He’s the first graduate of a DC public school to play in the majors since 1981. … Giants OF Aaron Rowand left the game in the seventh inning with an injury to his right quadriceps muscle. He’ll be re-examined on Saturday. … Washington RHP Tim Redding pinch-hit for Bergmann in the third inning. He struck out. … San Francisco 2B Durham was not in the original lineup due to lingering effects of a strained calf, but he convinced Bochy he was well enough to play. … Nationals 1B Dmitri Young did not play due to the flu.