Posted September 30, 2012 on
AP on Fox
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers
Pinch hitter Xavier Nady homered off Huston Street to tie the game with one out in the ninth and Hunter Spence hit a go-ahead, two-run shot as the San Francisco Giants rallied to beat the San Diego Padres 7-5 Sunday.
The stunning rally got Tim Lincecum off the hook for the loss, but the righty still had his second straight shaky start for the NL West champion Giants.
Lincecum allowed a season-high three home runs, including a two-run shot by Logan Forsythe and solo homers by Chase Headley and Yasmani Grandal.
Lincecum might no longer be a lock for the No. 3 spot in the playoff rotation. Manager Bruce Bochy instead might consider lefty Barry Zito (14-8), who was left off the roster for all three postseason rounds during the team's improbable 2010 run to the World Series championship.
San Francisco has won Zito's last 10 outings and he has won four straight starts and six consecutive decisions since a loss Aug. 2. The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with Oakland has his most wins since joining the Giants with a $126 million, seven-year contract before the 2007 season.
Lincecum allowed five runs - four earned - and four hits in six innings with four strikeouts and two walks.
With the Giants trailing 5-4, Nady drove a 1-0 pitch from Street (2-1) into the sandy play area beyond the fence in right-center. It was his second pinch homer this year and sixth of his career. Francisco Peguero beat out an infield single to shortstop, and Pence followed with a tiebreaking homer to straightaway center on a 1-1 pitch, his 24th.
It was Street's first blown save in 24 chances.
Shane Loux (1-0) pitched one inning for the win, while Sergio Romo pitched the ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances.
A two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, Lincecum set career-worsts with a 5.18 ERA and 23 homers allowed. He was 3-10 before the All-Star break and 7-6 after it.
The Giants had only three regular starters in their lineup as Bochy gave several players the day off. Among those sitting out was catcher Buster Posey, a strong MVP candidate who leads the race for the NL batting title with a .337 average.
Trailing 5-2, the Giants scored two runs in the eighth off relievers Luke Gregerson and Joe Hatcher before Dale Thayer came on with one out and runners on first and second. He struck out Joaquin Arias and pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval.
Lincecum pitched well until walking Everth Cabrera with two outs in the third. Forsythe then drove a 3-2 pitch into the balcony on the third level of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building in the left-field corner for a 2-1 lead.
San Francisco tied it at 2 when Gregor Blanco drew a bases-loaded walk off Edinson Volquez with two outs in the fourth. Earlier that inning, San Diego right fielder Chris Denorfia threw out Brandon Belt trying to score on Sanchez's single.
San Diego went back ahead when Grandal drove a 2-2 pitch into the sandy play area beyond the fence in right-center, his eighth.
Cabrera manufactured an unearned run with two outs in the fifth when he walked, stole second and third, and scored after rookie catcher Hector Sanchez's throw to third sailed into left field for an error.
Headley homered to right on Lincecum's first pitch of the sixth. It extended Headley's career highs to 31 homers and an NL-high 113 RBIs.
In his previous start, Lincecum tied his season high by allowing seven earned runs in a loss to Arizona.
Volquez left the game with a trainer after falling behind 1-0 against Aubrey Huff leading off the fifth. He allowed two runs and six hits, struck out four and walked three.
NOTES: The Giants end the season with three games at the Los Angeles Dodgers starting Monday night. Matt Cain (16-5, 2.77) is scheduled to start against Aaron Harang (10-10, 3.68). ... The Padres end with a three-game series at Milwaukee, with lefty Clayton Richard (14-13, 3.91) scheduled to start against Shaun Marcum (6-4, 3.74). ... Cabrera's four stolen bases were the most by a Padres player since Damian Jackson stole five on June 28, 1999, against Colorado. ... His 41 stolen bases are the most by a Padres player since Dave Roberts, now their first base coach, had 46 in 2006.
BEST OF MAXIM
by Hannah Miller, special to 22gigantes.com
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