Lincecum takes another shot against Padres

( – Former two-time National League Cy Young Award winner
Tim Lincecum gets another shot to start fresh on Friday when the San Francisco
Giants continue their four-game series with the San Diego Padres at Petco

Lincecum, of course, has had tremendous success against the Padres and has
thrown no-hitters in each of the last two seasons against them.

For his career, he is 18-6 against the Padres with a 2.27 ERA in 32 games (29
starts). He was a perfect 5-0 against them a year ago with a 1.40 ERA.

It’s everyone else, though, that has given him problems.

Nowhere near the dominant pitcher he once was, Lincecum won a rotation spot
this spring, despite pitching to a 5.95 ERA over 19 2/3 innings. That, of
course, follows a 2014 that saw him go 12-9 with a 4.74 ERA. Lincecum was
relegated to bullpen duty for part of last season and only made one postseason
appearance for the Giants.

“I think I’ve done enough to put myself in a position to have success again,”
Lincecum told MLB’s official website. “I think the confidence I have in myself
and the work I’ve done this spring is also enough to help carry me through and
give me hope with a question mark at the end of the line.”

With Matt Cain and Jake Peavy already on the shelf, the Giants may need
Lincecum to pick up more of the load than anyone had anticipated heading into
the season.

San Diego, meanwhile, will counter with one of its new acquisitions in hard-
throwing righty Brandon Morrow, who spent the past five seasons with Toronto
after pitching for Seattle for three years.

The 30-year-old appeared in only 13 games last season for the Blue Jays,
missing most of the campaign because of a torn tendon sheath in his right
index finger. He made six starts before suffering the injury in early May and
pitched out of the bullpen when he returned in September.

Injuries have been a factor for Morrow, who has made 30 starts just once in
his career.

San Francisco won an amazing pitchers’ duel in Thursday’s opener, as Justin
Maxwell knocked in the game’s only run with a pinch-hit RBI single in the 12th
inning to carry the Giants to a 1-0 win.

An error by shortstop Clint Barmes on a Brandon Crawford grounder and an
intentional walk to Gregor Blanco put two on with two outs for Maxwell, who
delivered a single to center field off Nick Vincent (0-1).

Vincent stranded runners on the corners to end the top of the 12th, but
Santiago Casilla retired the side in order in the home half to pick up the
save, his third of the season.

George Kontos (1-0) struck out two in 1 2/3 innings for San Francisco.

“This one could have went either way,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “The
pitching on both sides was outstanding.”

The loss overshadowed a terrific stint in long relief by Odrisamer Despaigne,
who came on for Padres starter Ian Kennedy in the third inning and tossed 4
2/3 perfect innings. Kennedy left after allowing two hits and two walks in 2
1/3 innings with a left hamstring strain.

“The whole time I felt something wasn’t right,” Kennedy said. “I didn’t feel a
pop or anything, I just wasn’t going to hurt my arm trying to change my

San Diego was 10-9 against the Giants last season.