By JOSH DUBOW
AP Sports Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - As good as it felt to shut out the World
Series champions for eight innings, getting a pair of hits against
two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum really made Mike Leake's day.
Leake held the struggling San Francisco hitters in check and
started two rallies with his bat as the Cincinnati Reds gave
Lincecum one of his worst beatings ever in a 10-2 victory over the
Giants on Saturday.
"I take pride in my hitting," Leake said. "I don't like to
get out. It's more fun to get hits than it is to pitch good
sometimes. ... Anytime I'm squaring balls up, it's pretty fun."
Brandon Phillips hit a two-run double and scored twice and Joey
Votto knocked the San Francisco ace out with an RBI double in the
fifth inning to give the Reds their second win in three games in
Lincecum (5-5) matched his career worst by allowing seven runs
in four-plus innings, marking the first time since his rookie year
in 2007 that he had allowed seven earned runs in a game.
"I was just kind of flying all over the place," Lincecum said.
"I didn't have any command of the zone at all. To me, that's just
kind of going back to the drawing board and getting my mechanics
With the Giants struggling to generate any offense of late, that
cushion proved to be more than enough for Leake (6-2), who improved
to 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four starts since a brief stint back in
"Mainly my head is just back on straight a little bit," Leake
said. "I think I lost it there for a little."
Leake allowed four hits - including an infield popup by Eli
Whiteside that third baseman Scott Rolen lost for a single - and
struck out a career-high eight. Leake had a 21.21 ERA in two
previous outings against the Giants, including giving up six runs
while retiring one batter in a relief outing in his final
appearance of the season last August.
Leake also started a pair of rallies at the plate against
Lincecum. Leake doubled to lead a the two-run third inning when the
Reds scored on a groundout by Jay Bruce and a wild pitch by
Lincecum to make it 3-0.
Leake then singled to start the four-run fifth. Drew Stubbs
followed with a walk and both players scored on Phillips double to
left field. Votto's RBI double ended Lincecum's briefest outing of
the season and Rolen added a sacrifice fly to make it 7-0.
"That was a rare outing by Lincecum," Reds manager Dusty Baker
said. "That's a two-time Cy Young award winner. He's one of the
best in the business. He wasn't as sharp today as he usually is."
Lincecum allowed seven hits and walked four and struck out a
career-low one batter. He struggled with his control all afternoon,
throwing 37 balls compared to 36 strikes, and had two wild pitches.
He generated only two swings and misses all day - both to Stubbs,
who struck to open the game.
That was the high point of the game for Lincecum who allowed an
RBI single to Ryan Hanigan in the second inning, the two runs in
the third and four runs in the fifth. Lincecum now has a 7.66 ERA
in four starts since throwing 133 pitches in a shutout victory
against Oakland last month.
"More than anything his fastball command's off," manager Bruce
Bochy said. "It was an off day for Timmy, I don't know how else to
tell you, especially with his command. That's a good hitting
ballclub and you're going to pay for it if you're off. There's not
much else to it, really. He feels good, he's healthy. He's just
having trouble getting the ball where he wants."
The Reds, who went just 2-8 on their last road trip, have
matched that total in three games in San Francisco. The pitching
has had a big part in that with Johnny Cueto and two relievers
combining on a 3-0 shutout Thursday night before Leake's strong
start. Pat Burrell broke up the shutout with a two-run homer in the
ninth off Carlos Fisher - his first longball in 96 at-bats.
Cincinnati has gone a season-high four games without a home run,
winning two of them.
Notes: Leake leads Reds pitchers with seven hits. ... Lincecum
allowed seven runs, but only three earned runs, on May 16 against
Colorado and seven earned runs to Toronto on June 13, 2007. ... The
Giants signed INF Bill Hall to replace injured 2B Freddy Sanchez.
Hall entered the game in the fifth inning and walked in his first
plate appearance for San Francisco. ... The Reds are the only NL
team that Lincecum has not beaten, excluding the Giants. He is 0-1
in three starts against Cincinnati.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)