Tim Linceum looked like his former Cy Young self and first-year outfielder Justin Maxwell hit a two-run blast as the Giants beat the Dodgers 6-2 on Tuesday snapping Los Angeles’ seven-game winning streak.
Lincecum (1-1) dominated the Dodgers with defense and creativity as LA’s offense had scored five runs or more during their seven-game streak.
“It’s just about pitchability and making good pitches when you have to and putting the bad ones behind you when you can and moving on,” said Lincecum. “I’ve felt like that’s kind of been what plagued me in the past, I let them kind of drag me down. I’m not saying this is a whole different evolution of a pitcher, I’m just trying to make my way with what I’ve got.”
Maxwell went 2 for 3 with a triple and a home run and scored three runs. In the bottom of the 8th, Maxwell sent a 97 MPH fastball from Pedro Baez into the left field bleachers for his second homer of the season.
The Giants looked reinvigorated against their rivals after losing nine out of their last 10 games to start the season.
“It’s important for us to get back on track and play better ball,” said San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy. “The age old adage, you can’t win it here, but you can lose it here if you get too far back.”
New Giants outfielder Nori Aoki who came to San Francisco from the Kansas City Royals after the 2014 World Series went 2 for 4 with an RBI single.
Even better than the Giants offense on Tuesday was their imperious defense which turned four double plays on the night helping Lincecum get out of early jams.
“We were getting guys on early,” said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. “But we erased them with the double play ball.”
Lincecum rediscovered his “freak” form holding the Dodgers to one run on just five hits with five strikeouts through 6 innings. Lincecum has struggled since winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2008-2009 and recently cut his long locks in hopes of rediscovering his old form.
“I don’t get haircuts very often,” he told MLB.com “This is just my third time in two years.”
Yasiel Puig went 2 for 4 in his return to the Dodgers lineup after missing the final game of a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
Alex Guerrero continued his hot hitting. Guerrero hit a two-out pinch-hit double that plated Juan Uribe in the top half of the fifth to put the Dodgers on the board.
Brett Anderson (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season allowing four runs on nine hits through 4 innings.
Jean Machi struggled in the ninth for San Francisco loading the bases before Giants closer, Santiago Castilla, came in to close the game out.
This was the first of six games the two teams will play against each other over the next nine days. Dodgers’ rookie Joc Pederson celebrated his 23rd birthday on the night and had many family and friends in attendance as he hails from the Bay Area.