SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Tim Lincecum had butterflies, admittedly nervous taking the field with the added hype as a World Series winner.
He threw back-to-back balls, then allowed a single up the middle to Willie Bloomquist.
The Freak hardly looked like his dominant self in his short exhibition debut Friday, but that's often the case for San Francisco's two-time NL Cy Young Award winner this time of year - and he doesn't worry much about Cactus League numbers. Fittingly, the World Series champion Giants won a familiar one-run decision with a 7-6 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the majors' first spring training game.
The champs took the field to roaring cheers at Scottsdale Stadium, where a logo painted on the grass behind home plate reads ``2010 WORLD CHAMPIONS.'
``Before the game there was a buzz,' manager Bruce Bochy said. ``We appreciate it. I told these guys: 'You should be honored. You've earned this.''
Lincecum took the mound in a game for the first time since pitching eight innings in the Giants' Game 6 victory Nov. 1 at Texas that clinched the franchise's first World Series title since moving West in 1958 and first overall since '54 in New York.
``When they say, 'Your world champion San Francisco Giants,' that gives you the tingles,' Lincecum said. ``Going out there, I was talking to Buster (Posey) and I said, 'Is it weird we have butterflies already?''
Lincecum kept his head down as he walked off the mound to cheers upon giving way to winner Steve Edlefsen after 1 2-3 innings and 33 pitches. He had one strikeout and was tagged for three runs and five hits.
``I felt like I threw a lot of quality strikes,' Lincecum said. ``Obviously it's not the outcome I wanted.'
Still, Bochy considers his opening-day starter to be ahead of schedule at this stage compared to a year ago. Last spring, Lincecum was even sent to minor league camp a couple of times to get in some extra work.
The 26-year-old Lincecum maintained a workout regimen this winter that he began last September, on the heels of a career-worst five-start losing streak in August.
``I think he wanted to come into camp and be a little ahead of where he was last year,' Bochy said. ``I like where he's at right now. We're not concerned with results.'
Arizona starter Joe Saunders - who might become manager Kirk Gibson's pick for opening day - threw a 1-2-3 first inning before running into trouble in the second as he began to mix in his off-speed pitches. He took the loss.
The left-hander is looking to bounce back from a 9-17 year with the Angels and Arizona. Overall, he was happy with how his arm felt in his first outing despite not being 100 percent.
``I made some good pitches and they still found some holes,' he said. ``I was dealing with a little bit of arm soreness issue. A little bit of tightness there. It's just normal spring training soreness. It's stuff everyone goes through.'
Xavier Nady hit the game's only home run, a solo shot in the third off San Francisco fifth starter Madison Bumgarner.
Still, this day was all about the Giants.
``Bruce, you're the man!' one fan hollered in the final inning.
Bochy knows the boos might have come had his club not pulled out this close one. Casey Daigle struck out Collin Cowgill swinging to end it.
``Didn't you know it was going to go down to the last pitch today with the winning run on second?' Bochy quipped. ``I heard a guy in the stands say: 'Torture's back so early. Why can't you break us in?''
Slimmed-down Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, typically a free-swinger at the plate, laid off a slider in the dirt by Saunders in the second before hitting a sacrifice fly.
The Kung Fu Panda's winter shapeup got him down 38 pounds to a fit 240. He is coming off a down year during which he batted .268 with just 13 homers and 63 RBIs and grounded into an NL-high 26 double plays in his second full season in the big leagues.
``A focus for Pablo this year is to show a little better discipline,' Bochy said.
NOTES: Mark DeRosa, playing 2B for the Giants, hit an RBI single in the second and drew a walk after missing most of 2010 with a left wrist injury that required surgery. ... Giants 1B Aubrey Huff, nursing a sore left wrist, said he would play his first game Saturday against the rival Dodgers. ``It's just old-guy stuff. I think I slept on it wrong,' Huff said. ... Aaron Rowand started in CF for the Giants, who used Andres Torres as DH. Rowand, making $12 million this season, insists he is in the best shape of his life after cycling more than 1,000 miles this offseason in the Las Vegas area. While Torres is the leading candidate to play center and lead off, Rowand hopes to make his case to play. ``I'm going to do what I can do, that's it,' Rowand said.
The Associated Press News Service
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