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SD@SF: Lincecum shines in a victory over Padres

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt went to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning wanting to see the ball as well as he could. Once he got ahead in the count, he locked in on something he could hit.

Belt's two-run double chased away some of the pressure of hitting with runners in scoring position and the San Francisco Giants rallied for a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

"You can't go up there looking for something against that guy because he can throw any pitch in any count," Belt said. "Fortunately I got something I could handle."

Tim Lincecum (2-2) made sure that was all the Giants would need in his first quality start of the season. The former Cy Young Award winner gave up an unearned run on three hits over a season-best eight innings. He walked four and struck out five.

"I was just trying to keep my rhythm going," Lincecum said. "It helps me not get too lax out there. I think that's where I've taken that new thing where I'm running off the field just to show that I still have energy."

Anthony Bass pitched like all he would need was the one run as he had a perfect game two outs into the sixth inning before Lincecum beat out an infield single.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game just because he's got good stuff and he had good numbers coming into the game," Lincecum said. "His slider was getting strikeouts and he had a live fastball. We knew it was going to be a grind and it turned out that way."

Melky Cabrera doubled leading off the seventh, but he was still there two outs later. Nate Schierholtz hit a slow grounder in the hole at second base. Orlando Hudson threw wide and it was ruled Yonder Alonso was unable to keep his foot on the base.

"It takes those things to win ballgames like these," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Earlier we had a leadoff double and couldn't do much with that. The only thing you can do is keep grinding."

Lincecum beat the Padres a fourth straight time and for the sixth time in his last seven decisions against them, all of which were quality starts. He has an 0.62 ERA in his last four starts against San Diego.

"Mentally I just felt a little more into the game from beginning to end," Lincecum said. "I'll just try not to overthink anything between now and next start. Hopefully it builds off itself." Bass did keep Pablo Sandoval off the bases, ending his 20-game hitting streak, a Giants franchise record for the start of a season and the longest to start a season since Edgar Renteria hit in 23 straight for the Atlanta Braves in 2006.

"He pitched a lot like I have seen the other guy pitch," said Padres manager Bud Black, comparing Bass to Lincecum. "Every pitch was made with a purpose."

Sandoval grounded out to first base with two runners on in the bottom of the eighth.

Santiago Casilla pitched the ninth for his third save. Comments