SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tim Lincecum regularly finds ways to keep the Atlanta Braves off-balance.
On Monday night, he worked quickly through the Atlanta order on the way to his best outing of the year, striking out 11 in the Braves' 4-2 loss to the Giants. They have dropped four in a row to the Giants and eight of 10 dating to last season.
Lincecum (3-2) left to a roaring standing ovation after pitching a season-high 7 2-3 innings in his first start of eight getting past the sixth.
"He threw a lot of off-speed pitches and kept them down," Atlanta's Freddie Freeman said. "He seems to do very well against us. He kept us off-balance."
Gavin Floyd (0-1) remained winless after his second start of 2014, yet he is encouraged with the progress.
Floyd struck out eight over 6 1-3 innings in his first outing facing the Giants since 2008. The right-hander was 2-0 against San Francisco and won in his only previous appearance at AT&T Park while with the White Sox.
"Their pitcher was putting up zeroes so I knew I had to keep executing and keep us in the game. Things didn't go our way in the seventh inning," Floyd said. "I feel like I'm building off of each time I got out there."
Tyler Colvin backed Lincecum with a home run and go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh inning.
B.J. Upton hit a tying solo homer in the fifth, then was caught stealing on replay review as the potential go-ahead run in the top of the seventh.
Upton hit a one-out double and was ruled to have stolen third on a slide below a reaching Pablo Sandoval. Giants manager Bruce Bochy challenged the call by third base umpire Dana DeMuth, and it was overturned in 2 minutes, 7 seconds.
Bochy said he had "nothing to lose" at that stage of the game. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said afterward they got the call right, but it was a "game changer."
"I still thought I was safe," Upton said. "I don't know what evidence they had to overturn it."