Wilson saves it for Lincecum, 2-1
SAN FRANCISCO — Closer Brian Wilson found himself in a tight spot trying to preserve a win for Tim Lincecum after the San Francisco Giants failed to do so the last three times their ace pitched.
Bases loaded, two out and a full count, Kaz Matsui kept fouling off fastball after fastball until he finally flied out on the 15th pitch to end the game. Wilson could exhale, along with Lincecum, manager Bruce Bochy and the rest of the team.
Unbeaten Lincecum won for the first time in four starts, Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer in the fourth as San Francisco finally got to Astros ace Roy Oswalt, and the Giants beat Houston, 2-1, yesterday.
"I don't know if there's a tougher save ever than what he went through," Bochy said. "I just watch and hope."
Wilson saw the manager pacing and asked him afterward if he was nervous, and he walked through the postgame handshake line and razzed Lincecum.
"I said, 'Bro, why does it always have to be on your starts? Can you just give me a bigger lead, maybe? ' " Wilson said. "After a while, it was kind of comical. How long an at-bat was it, 15 pitches? It felt like a half-hour. ... That was fun."
Lincecum (5-0) struck out five and walked five but outdueled Oswalt (2-5) in a rematch of the hard-throwing righties from opening day, helping the Giants improve to 5-0 against the Astros this season.
Wilson relieved Lincecum after the eighth and earned his eighth save in nine chances. But not before he loaded the bases and made it interesting as usual.
"I don't think there's anything more exciting than the bases loaded, 3-2, for 15 pitches or whatever," Lincecum said.
Houston took the lead in the first on a wild pitch, then managed little else against Lincecum. Slugger Carlos Lee was ejected in the sixth by plate umpire Bill Welke for arguing a called third strike.
Uribe's two-out drive in the fourth put the Giants ahead, and the shortstop also had a pair of singles. His fourth homer was his first in 45 at-bats.
Lincecum earned his first win since April 23 following three straight no-decisions in which the two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner left with the lead. He insisted he wasn't concerned.
"I don't know, get over it, not worry about it," he said. "There's no need to think about it."
PHILLIES 10, BREWERS 6
Shane Victorino, a St. Anthony alum from Maui, had a RBI single, a run-scoring double and a two-run homer in support of Joe Blanton (1-2) as visiting Philadelphia held off Milwaukee, which fell to 4-13 at Miller Park.
PIRATES 4, CUBS 3
Jeff Clement homered in the top of the ninth inning for a 4-2 lead and Octavio Dotel struck out Ryan Theriot and Marlon Byrd with a runner on third in the bottom of the ninth to help Pittsburgh hold off Chicago.
DIAMONDBACKS 11, BRAVES 1
Justin Upton and Kelly Johnson homered and Rodrigo Lopez (2-2) gave up a run on seven hits over eight innings to help visiting Arizona rout Atlanta and snap a seven-game losing streak.
MARLINS 7, METS 5
Cameron Maybin tied a career high with three RBIs and Nate Robertson (4-3) allowed three runs, and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings as host Florida won its season's best third straight, while handing New York its fourth consecutive loss.
REDS 4, CARDINALS 3
Orlando Cabrera made a strong relay throw to the plate to nail Skip Schumaker — trying to score on Joe Mather's double to left — for the final out in the top of the ninth, preserving Cincinnati's victory over St. Louis Cardinals in baseball's Civil Rights Game.
ROCKIES SWEEP NATIONALS
Carlos Gonzalez and Seth Smith hit back-to-back homers, and Ian Desmond's throwing error in the seventh allowed Paul Phillips to score the go-ahead run, helping host Colorado to a 4-3 win over Washington and a sweep of a doubleheader.
In the opener, Ubaldo Jimenez (7-1) allowed two runs and seven hits over eight innings to tie for the major league lead in victories, and Jason Giambi and Miguel Olivo hit homers to lead the Rockies to a 6-2 victory.
DODGERS 4, PADRES 1
Clayton Kershaw (3-2) allowed a run and three hits over seven innings, James Loney homered and Russell Martin pushed his hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI single as visiting Los Angeles beat first-place San Diego for its sixth straight victory.
BLUE JAYS 6, RANGERS 0
Ricky Romero (4-1) allowed five singles and struck out 12 in his first career shutout, and Jose Bautista went 3 for 4 with a solo homer run and a three-run shot, and drove in five runs to lead host Toronto over Texas.
RAYS 3, MARINERS 2
After rallying for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the score, Willy Aybar homered to right-center on a 3-2 pitch from Jesus Colome (0-1) leading off the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting Tampa Bay over Seattle.
YANKEES 7, TWINS 1
Andy Pettitte (4-0) put to rest any concern about his left elbow, allowing just two hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings, and Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada hit long two-run homers in the seventh as host New York beat Minnesota at home for the 10th straight time in the regular season.
INDIANS 8, ORIOLES 2
Austin Kearns hit a three-run homer, Mike Redmond had a two-run double, and Trevor Crowe added a two-run shot in an eight-run top of the ninth inning as Cleveland rallied to end Baltimore's season-high three-game winning streak.
WHITE SOX 5, ROYALS 4
Jake Peavy (3-2) gave up a three-run double to Alberto Callaspo in the first inning and Billy Butler's homer in the third, but pitched into the ninth to win his third straight start, leading visiting Chicago past Kansas City in a game delayed 61 minutes at the start by rain.
ANGELS 12, ATHLETICS 3
Kendry Morales drove in five runs with a pair of homers, and Ervin Santana (2-3) earned his first win since April 18, allowing three runs and seven hits over six innings with six strikeouts and three walks as host Los Angeles reached double digits in runs for the first time this season.
TIGERS 7, RED SOX 6
Ramon Santiago drew a four-pitch walk from Ramon Ramirez with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th inning as Detroit rallied to beat Boston. Magglio Ordonez homered and Brandon Inge hit a tying double in the eighth for the Tigers, who fought back from a 6-1 deficit.
Dodgers' Ethier hurt: The Los Angeles Dodgers announced yesterday big league batting leader Andre Ethier fractured a bone at the end of his right pinkie during batting practice yesterday and sat out the Dodgers' 4-1 win against the San Diego Padres. He'll be examined by a hand specialist in Los Angeles today. It is not known how much time he'll miss.
Ethier leads the majors with a .392 batting average and 38 RBIs, and is tied for the NL lead with 11 homers.
Rays cut Burrell: Tampa Bay designated Pat Burrell for assignment before yesterday's game against Seattle and selected the contract of former Texas Rangers infielder Hank Blalock from Triple-A Durham.
Burrell, 33, has struggled since signing with the Rays two months after helping the Phillies beat Tampa Bay in the 2008 World Series. He was hitting .202 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 24 games this season.