LOS ANGELES (AP) -Tim Lincecum knows he has a much better chance to win a third straight Cy Young Award than a Silver Slugger trophy.
Still, he enjoys handling the bat - particularly when he gets the kind of results he did against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lincecum scattered four hits over six innings and set career highs with three hits and three RBIs, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 9-0 victory over the sloppy Dodgers on Saturday.
``That was a good day hitting for me. So if you put it all together, yeah, it was a pretty good day,' Lincecum said. ``But I'm not going to start bragging about my batting average and start giving out hitting lessons any time soon.'
The two-time All-Star got all three of his RBIs against knuckleballer Charlie Haeger before the Dodgers got their first hit against him, helping the Giants build an early 5-0 lead. Lincecum drove in batterymate Bengie Molina with San Francisco's first run, pushing a bunt single past the mound in the second inning.
``I was thinking sacrifice, and I was trying to bunt it that way. It just happened to be hard enough to get it past the pitcher,' he said.
In the third, Lincecum came up with the bases loaded and stroked a two-run single to right-center.
``I was guessing fastball in that count,' said the 5-foot 11, 163-pound pitcher, who had only three RBIs last season in 66 at_bats. ``He started me off 1-0 and probably didn't want to get to 2-0. So I just guessed right.'
Lincecum (3-0) struck out seven and walked two. He has allowed just two runs over 20 innings in his first three starts.
``This kid's special, to accomplish what he has already,' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ``He's got great stuff, poise, and he's so competitive. We had a tough game here last night, and then he comes out and pitching like that and do the things he was doing offensively. That's impressive. But nothing he does surprises me anymore.'
Lincecum is one of four NL pitchers with back-to-back Cy Young awards, along with Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux. Johnson and Maddux each won it in four consecutive seasons, but Lincecum isn't looking that far ahead.
``I don't know. I'm not the one who picks it, and it's way too early in the season to even know if it's going to happen this season,' he said. ``It's one of those things you hope for. But no matter how well a pitcher does, it's not just up to him who gets the Cy Young.'
Dodgers manager Joe Torre fielded a lineup that was missing catcher Russell Martin (0 for 13 against Lincecum), third baseman Casey Blake (0 for 9) and shortstop Rafael Furcal (3 for 14). As a result, they were quite vulnerable on defense - and it showed.
Errors by reserve shortstop Jamey Carroll and backup catcher A.J. Ellis - who also committed a passed ball in the inning that enabled Nate Schierholtz to score - helped the Giants score four runs in the third.
Haeger (0-1) retired only eight of the 22 batters be faced, throwing 94 pitches in three-plus innings. The right-hander was charged with seven runs - five earned - seven hits and five walks, and also hit a batter.
``The whole outing was just awful,' Haeger said. ``It was just a pathetic performance, really. I was just fighting it to find command. Five walks and a couple of hits will get you in trouble.'
Giants center fielder and leadoff hitter Aaron Rowand was out of the lineup, one day after a fastball from Dodgers right-hander Vicente Padilla left him with two small broken bones in his left cheekbone and a mild concussion. Left fielder Mark DeRosa was removed from the game in the fourth for a pinch-hitter after straining his right hamstring.
Garret Anderson started in left field for Manny Ramirez, who left Friday's series opener with tightness in his right calf - but had a scheduled day off, anyway.
NOTES: The one constant in the longtime rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants has been Vin Scully, who on Sunday will mark the 60th anniversary of his first day in the Dodgers' broadcast booth with Red Barber and Connie Desmond. ``I feel only overwhelming gratitude,' Scully told the Associated Press. ``You feel blessed that you've lived that long, that you've been allowed to do what you love to do for that long, and that my health has held up all those years. It's humbling to think that you've been that fortunate and that God has blessed you with that time. That first team, the so-called 'Boys of Summer,' that was my graduating class. I mean, look at the team then. I had Don Newcombe, Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Billy Cox, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Carl Furillo and Carl Erskine. That was such an amazing collection of players, so I guess that was the team that made the most impression on me.'
The Associated Press News Service
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