SAN FRANCISCO – It was a rocky return to AT&T Park for the Giants on Thursday night.
They allowed two home runs that accounted for five runs in a 7-3 loss to the A’s in the opener of the Bay Bridge Series.
A crowd of 40,630 was on hand to welcome the World Series champs in their first game in their home ballpark since sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the Fall Classic.
Giants starter Tim Lincecum went just 4 2/3 innings and was charged with five runs, allowing five hits, striking out six and walking one. That line is a bit deceiving, given that he was relieved in the fifth by lefty Jeremy Affeldt, who promptly surrendered a three-run homer to Josh Reddick that opened up a 6-2 lead for Oakland.
But Lincecum, who finished the spring with a 10.57 ERA in five starts, also got victimized by the long ball.
Any guesses as to who did the damage against him?
Power-hitting A’s left fielder Yoenis Cespedes smashed a fourth-inning changeup for a two-run homer deep to left field, a pitch that Lincecum caught too much of the plate with on a 2-1 count. You’ll remember Cespedes also took Lincecum deep in the right-hander’s previous start March 23 at Scottsdale Stadium.
One Giant who certainly came ready to play Thursday was shortstop Brandon Crawford. He turned in two defensive gems – corralling a sharply hit ball off the bat of Reddick in the first and then ranging up the middle to field Eric Sogard’s grounder in the third, spinning and making the throw to first to get the out.
Crawford doubled in his first at-bat, then drove an RBI triple to right-center in the fourth to score Joaquin Arias.