Lincecum’s solid start helps Giants topple Dodgers 

click to enlarge Tim Lincecum
  • AP Photo/George Nikitin
  • San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013.

Tim Lincecum walked off the mound at AT&T Park to a standing ovation on Thursday in what could have been his final start in a Giants uniform.

The soon-to-be free agent earned a no decision, leaving the game in the seventh inning before Angel Pagan broke a tie in the eighth with a home run, lifting the Giants to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"It's a shame we couldn't get him a win, but we won the game because of him," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner struck out six batters, scattering eight hits over seven innings of work while surrendering a pair of earned runs.

"I was just focused on trying to get the win today and not make it anything bigger," Lincecum said. "I just wanted to go out there and execute my game plan. I didn't at times, but I had some great defensive plays behind me to make up the difference."

Lincecum looked like he was headed for a quick exit in the start, giving up seven hits in the game's first four innings.

The Dodgers tagged him for a run in the first when Carl Crawford tripled to left and scored on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzalez. They stretched the lead to 2-0 in the fourth after Juan Uribe and Mark Ellis led off the inning with back-to-back doubles.

But the Dodgers whiffed on opportunities to add to the lead in the second, third and fourth innings.

Gregor Blanco helped Lincecum escape the second by throwing out Tim Fedorowicz at the plate to end the inning.

With two on and one out in the third, Lincecum induced a 5-4-3 double play out of Matt Kemp to Houdini his way out of another jam.

In the fourth, he struck out the side, fanning Fedorowicz, pitcher Edinson Volquez and rookie sensation Yasiel Puig, with no outs and Uribe on second.

After that, Lincecum retired nine of the final 11 batters he faced. He struck out Puig three times in the game.

The Giants got Lincecum off the hook by scoring a pair of runs in the fifth. Nick Noonan scored the first run after reaching base with a single, advancing to second on a wild pitch, moving over to third on a sacrifice bunt and scoring on a fielder's choice.

Brandon Belt brought in the second run by driving in Blanco, who walked, with a two-out double down the right-field line.

Lincecum received a standing ovation when he laid down the sacrifice bunt for Noonan.

"I thought that was probably one of the best sacrifice bunts I ever gave in my life," he said. "I was like, 'man, that must have been great.' But that ovation was pretty special and I've always had an awkward way of acknowledging it, but I do have an appreciation and respect for the way they do accept me."

Pagan put the Giants ahead in the eighth with a leadoff home run that barely cleared the left-field wall and Sergio Romo shut the door in the ninth, earning his 38th save. Santiago Casilla (7-2) picked up the win by pitching a scoreless eighth inning.

Lincecum said he's trying to be "open-minded" as he enters free agency in the offseason.

"I'm not dismissing anything that I haven't seen yet," he said. "I'm a product of familiarity and I like this team, so with that, we'll see what happens."

Catcher Buster Posey said he respected the way Lincecum carried himself when he struggled.

"It's hard not to like him; he's just a likable guy," Posey said. "He comes in with a smile on his face -- he's Timmy."

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Paul Gackle

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