SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants didn’t face Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu this week at AT&T Park, or Shields, Cashner and Ross. No, it was Eddie Butler, Christian Bergman and Tyler Matzek who got the starts as the Colorado Rockies came in and swept a scuffling group.
Tim Lincecum gave up a three-run homer in the first inning, and with the way the Giants bats are going right now, that’s all it took. The Giants lost 4-2, extending their losing streak to six games. This is their first six-game losing streak in April since April 10-16, 2009.
Lincecum walked the first batter he saw and then gave up an infield single to Troy Tulowitzki. He seemed poised to get out of the jam when he fired an 87 mph fastball past Justin Morneau and then got ahead of Nolan Arenado. But on an 0-2 pitch, Lincecum threw a changeup that was low but not low enough. Arenado blasted it over the left-field wall.
The Giants got a run in the first and then stayed quiet until the late innings. Matt Duffy finally woke the park up in the eighth, blasting a Boone Logan pitch deep to left to pick up his first career homer and cut the deficit to two. Angel Pagan followed with a single and Buster Posey was walked, but Justin Maxwell struck out and Hector Sanchez grounded out to end the threat.
Starting pitching report: The Giants will take more nights like this from Lincecum. He wasn’t near his current best, but he battled, walked just one and got through five against one of the league’s deepest lineups. Lincecum was charged with three earned runs on six hits.
Bullpen report: At some point, the Giants will cut down from 13 to 12 pitchers, so every night counts just a bit more for the guys who fill in the middle innings. George Kontos has stated his case to stay: In five appearances, Kontos has allowed five hits, walked one and struck out seven without giving up a run. He pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Lincecum, striking out three.
At the plate: Duffy never homered at Long Beach State and had just 13 bombs in four minor league seasons. His first MLB shot was no cheapie. The homer was just the sixth of the season for the Giants; Seattle’s Nelson Cruz has six in 34 at-bats this season.
In the field: Angel Pagan went a long way to snag Charlie Blackmon’s deep fly to left-center with two on in the fourth. Pagan’s speed ended the inning and kept two runs off Lincecum’s line.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,188 people who were subjected to kiss cam for some reason.
Up next: Thursday’s matchup is a pretty good one. Madison Bumgarner takes the field here for the first time since riding a horse in the outfield. He’ll face Archie Bradley, the No. 25 prospect in the game, according to Baseball America. The 22-year-old right-hander struck out six over six one-hit innings in his MLB debut against the Dodgers.