Already with two no-hitters during his nine-year tenure as a Giant, Tim Lincecum carried another one into the sixth inning Sunday night.
This one, however, was a bit different. Lincecum, now with the Los Angeles Angels organization, was dominant on the mound in the minors, pitching in Triple-A for the Salt Lake Bees. The outing was his third with the Bees before he makes his debut for the Angels on a big league mound.
Lincecum last pitched in the majors on June 27, 2015. His final outing in a Giants uniform totaled only 1 2/3 innings while giving up three earned runs.
The former two-time Cy Young Award winner known as The Freak was back in familiar territory Sunday. Lincecum's last stop before making his major league debut with the Giants in 2007, was in a Fresno Grizzlies jersey when the team was the Giants' Triple-A affiliate. They are now the Triple-A affiliate for the Houston Astros.
And nine years later, Lincecum certainly looked comfortable in Fresno against the Grizzlies.
Through five innings pitched, Lincecum allowed just one base runner, a walk, and the Grizzlies couldn't muster one hit off him. Lincecum, who led the majors in strikeouts three straight years from 2008-10, also had seven strikeouts in his first five innings. But, the first batter he faced in the sixth inning put an end to the no-hitter.
Fresno's catcher Tyler Heineman led off the bottom of the sixth with a liner to right field and Lincecum allowed another man on base after an error of his own. No further damage was done with a zero remaining on the board for the Grizzlies.
The seventh inning was the final frame for Lincecum as he added one more strikeout and no more hits to his line. He finished the night going seven innings of one-hit ball while striking out eight and only walking one on 89 pitches. Lincecum earned a no decision after he came out of a scoreless game.
With Lincecum out of the game, the Grizzlies scored in the bottom of the eighth and went on to beat the Bees, 1-0.
As he looks to make his first start in the majors in nearly a year for his new team, Lincecum saved his best minor league start for his last outing. In 17 innings pitched, Lincecum recorded 19 strikeouts to six walks and only gave up seven hits with the Bees. After his stellar seven innings of work Sunday, Lincecum dropped his ERA to 2.65 in three starts.
Lincecum went 7-4 with a 4.13 ERA in his final season with the Giants last year.