MLB: Lincecum dominates, but Angels rally past Giants
TEMPE, Ariz. — Tim Lincecum is dominating hitters this spring the same way he did last season.
The 2008 NL Cy Young Award winner pitched three hitless innings for the San Francisco Giants in a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, giving him a total of seven scoreless innings in three exhibition starts.
Brad Coon hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to win it for the Angels in front of their first big crowd this spring (7,364).
"I've just been pretty lucky that pretty much everything has been going as smoothly as they have been," said Lincecum, who went 18-5 with a 2.65 ERA and a major league-high 265 strikeouts last year.
Lincecum said he can hear it when everything's working well in the bullpen before a game.
"Usually, if I can hear the ball — for some reason Major League Baseball balls make more noise than any other baseballs — I feel like I've got some life on the ball," he said, noting that he's working on several things this spring. "You've got to take it with a grain of salt. It's spring training. It's a time for us to get better. It's nice to go out and get three up and three down in the innings. That helps with confidence and that helps with the mental part of the game. It just gets you right."
The outing was Lincecum's second consecutive three-inning stint without allowing a hit.
Angels right-hander Dustin Moseley allowed five hits and two runs in three innings in his second spring training start.
"(Moseley) had some pitches that were up and a little bit flat," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "He had a chance to put some guys away but missed with some pitches. I thought he finished strong."
Moseley is one of three pitchers in the hunt to win the fifth spot in the rotation coming out of camp. The Angels figure to give the fifth spot back to right-hander Kelvim Escobar when he returns from injury. Escobar has made rapid progress recovering from a labrum tear in his pitching shoulder.
Angels reliever Jose Arredondo worked a scoreless inning. It was his first appearance after he announced he would be held out of the World Baseball Classic for the Dominican Republic because of a strained hip flexor.
"We just took three or four days to make sure that he was right, and it was good to get him back on the mound," Scioscia said. "There weren't any concerns. We were confident that he'd be fine."
Ryan Rohlinger gave the Giants a 4-3 lead with a two-run homer off reliever Jason Bulger in the ninth.
Coon followed Luis Figueroa's leadoff double with a shot to right off Billy Sadler.
"He got (the runner) over with a homer," Scioscia joked.