LOS ANGELES (AP) – The four home runs reliever Yusmeiro Petit gave up against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night took some of the heat off Tim Lincecum after the two-time Cy Young winner’s earliest knockout in nine major league seasons.
Lincecum surrendered five runs on seven hits through 1 1-3 innings in a 10-2 loss. The four-time All-Star retired only four of the 12 batters he faced, including opposing pitcher Brett Anderson on a sacrifice bunt, and was done after 53 pitches.
“My fastball location wasn’t there,” Lincecum said. “They battled me through some at-bats, and I wasn’t finishing them off with my secondary pitches. I’m not finishing hitters off the way I used to, and I’m giving them more chances than need be. I was leaving curve balls up in the zone and getting behind in counts.
“I just wasn’t doing a good job of executing my pitches out there,” he added. “I was actually doing a really poor job. Just about every hit I gave up, the ball was up in the zone. I could have pitched a lot better than I did, but I’ll try my best not to let it linger at all.”
Maybe he won’t, but the Giants’ brain trust might. Matt Cain and Jake Peavy are working their way back from injuries, which will leave manager Bruce Bochy with a difficult decision regarding his rotation – which starter might have to go to the bullpen? That was where Lincecum ended up in last season when he was struggling.
“You just go about your business, and whoever makes the decision for that to happen, it’s up to them,” Lincecum said. “You can’t control that, so you’ve just got to worry about what you can control – and that’s what you do when you get out there.”
“It looked like Timmy was going to have an easy first inning with a couple of quick outs,” Bochy said. “But that two-out walk made it turn into a stressful inning, and it might have played a part in the second one.”
Yasmani Grandal and Jimmy Rollins opened the Dodgers’ four-run second inning with singles and moved up on Anderson’s bunt to the left of the mound. Lincecum bobbled the ball and may have had trouble throwing Anderson out had the Dodgers’ pitcher been running hard to first base.
Yasiel Puig drove in both runners with a single up the middle on a 3-2 count, then came all the way around when rookie Joc Pederson doubled to right-center on an 0-2 pitch. Turner followed with an RBI single that chased Lincecum, taking an extra base as left fielder Brandon Belt kicked the ball toward center field for an error.
“I don’t think there’s really a game
plan with Lincecum. I mean, he’s been doing it for a long time,” Grandal said. “This was just one of those days where he had a bad day, and we just happened to go off on him.”
Petit gave up two homers by Grandal and one each by Gonzalez and Turner – all in a span of 15 batters. In the right-hander’s 19 previous appearances this season, he had allowed five home runs in 38 innings.
“He doesn’t throw it that hard to get it by you, and today he was just leaving balls up,” Grandal said. “He made some mistakes and we capitalized on them. I’ve faced Petit a lot in the past couple of years, and he’s pretty good. He has that kind of invincible ball that he throws on the bottom of the zone and you think it’s a ball, but it just keeps getting called a strike.”
Anderson (3-4) yielded a run and five hits in six innings.
Giants: LF and leadoff hitter Nori Aoki did not play because of a bruise near his right ankle, which occurred on Saturday when he was hit by a pitch leading off the game.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (7-4) pitched eight innings in each of his last two starts, but was on the short end of 1-0 and 2-0 losses to Arizona’s Chase Anderson and Seattle’s Felix Hernandez. Last year’s World Series MVP goes into Tuesday night’s opener of a three-game set against San Diego trying to avoid losing three straight starts for the first time since June 27 and July 3-8, 2014.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-4) gets the start Monday night against the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a 10-game trip. The reigning NL MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner has given up 34 earned runs in 93 innings – just five fewer than he allowed in 198 1-3 innings all of last season, when he led the majors in ERA for the fourth straight year with a career-best 1.77 mark. Kershaw already has matched last year’s total of home runs allowed with nine.
Updated June 22, 2015
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