Lincecum stayed even with Justin Duchscherer in a fine matchup between two likely All-Stars, Randy Winn drove in the only run of the game and the Giants snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Athletics with a 1-0 victory Saturday night.
“It’s a huge lift, especially the kind of ball we played today in a pitchers’ duel,” Giants closer Brian Wilson said. “He’s unbelievable, the determination he has when he takes the mound. He’s a true gamer.”
Lincecum (9-1) struck out 11 for his third game with 10 or more Ks this year and the fifth of his career, helping the Giants end the long skid against their Bay Area rival.
Oakland, which allowed only eight runs during its longest winning streak against the Giants, had won 10 of the last 11 meetings and 15 of 19 in the series.
San Francisco won with only two hits for the first time since beating the Cubs on May 17, 1995. And Lincecum again showed why he’s been so valuable, improving to 8-0 in 12 starts following his team’s losses.
Tyler Walker pitched the eighth and gave up Kurt Suzuki’s leadoff double followed by Jack Cust’s infield single, but recorded three straight outs to escape the jam. Winn made a game-saving catch with a tough run down on a hard-hit ball by Carlos Gonzalez for the second out.
“That won the game for us,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
Added Lincecum, “That was a circus catch.”
Winn was happy to make the play—as were all his teammates who watched in anticipation thinking the ball might be over his head.
“I just turned, put my head down and ran to where I thought it was going to be,” Winn said. “I had to do the worst possible thing as an outfielder— backpedal. I don’t care (how I caught it), it went in the glove and stayed in the glove. That’s what matters.”
Wilson worked the ninth for his NL-leading 22nd save in 24 opportunities to finish the seven-hit shutout—Oakland’s eighth time being blanked and the sixth shutout this season for San Francisco.
Walker knows he was fortunate.
“It was definitely a hairy inning,” he said.
Duchscherer (8-5) had his four-start winning streak snapped but still pitched well. When he got Aaron Rowand to ground into an inning-ending double play in the fourth, it began a stretch in which he retired 12 of the last 13 batters he faced including the final seven.
Duchscherer lowered his ERA from 1.99 to 1.91 and became the majors’ ERA leader. He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 12 of his 13 starts, but picked up his first loss this year at home in the Coliseum (6-1).
“It’s one of those games that you hope to win when you throw a game like that,” Duchscherer said. “You just have to tip your hat to the other guy. I felt good coming into the game and I thought I made some good quality pitches.”
The right-hander didn’t allow a hit until Fred Lewis led off the fourth with a single, then Ray Durham doubled moments later. The Giants went ahead when Winn reached on first baseman Daric Barton’s fielding error and was credited with an RBI.
“It was another great game for Duke. He kind of breezed through the game, with the exception of that pitch Durham hit well,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “Their guy was really good too. He’s one of the better pitchers we’ve seen all year without a doubt. I have never seen him when he wasn’t on.”
The Giants were much more alert for this one after they arrived home from a rain-delayed game Thursday night in Cleveland at 3 a.m. Friday and then showed up late to the ballpark for Friday’s game and lost 4-1.
Lincecum ended a stretch of three straight no-decisions, winning his fifth straight decision since a loss to Colorado on April 29. He allowed five hits in seven innings and walked three in an 116-pitch outing, and the Giants won for only the sixth time in their last 17 games.
“The key for me was even though I was pitching in trouble, I found myself in a good rhythm all game long,” Lincecum said.
Cust boosted his AL-leading strikeout total to 87 with two more K’s.
The game drew a sellout crowd of 36,067, which included 1,000 standing room only tickets.
Oakland’s Rajai Davis stole two bases against his former team, giving him 11 with Oakland. His other four this year were for San Francisco. … A’s 3B Eric Chavez missed his second straight game nursing his sore right shoulder that was surgically repaired in the offseason. Chavez said he would resume baseball activities Sunday. The pain is in the back of his shoulder and he will begin doing some new exercises recommended by a physical therapist in San Francisco. “Most of it is from throwing. Any time I throw it gets irritated and then when it’s irritated it affects me on offense,” he said. … Giants SS Omar Vizquel did not wear a brace on his surgically repaired left knee for the first time, but he still struggled from the plate. The 11-time Gold Glover went 0-for-3 and is 2-for-36 (.056) over his last 12 games. He has seven hits since May 22. … San Francisco OF Dave Roberts ran the bases for the first time since he underwent left knee surgery April 12. “It felt great, really fluid,” Roberts said. … Giants RHP Merkin Valdez played catch on flat ground as part of his recovery from an elbow injury.