Lincecum pitches 3 solid, Pence homers for Giants

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 7, 2014 at 6:29 pm •  Published: March 7, 2014
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SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Tim Lincecum pitched three strong innings and Hunter Pence homered as the San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals 5-0 on Friday.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner is coming off his third straight losing season. The Giants re-signed him to a two-year, $35 million contract in the offseason.

"Since the contract got finalized, it's just about focusing on the season and the two years ahead of me," Lincecum said.

Lincecum allowed two hits in the first inning, including a leadoff double to Norichika Aoki, who was out trying to steal third.

Lincecum's fastball was mostly in the 89-91 mph range.

"I'm not really too worried about trying to get it up or where it is at," Lincecum said. "It's all about placement. I know if I set my sights low in the zone I'll be better off."

Pence hit his first home run to center in the sixth off Wade Davis.

Tony Abreu, who played for the Royals in 2012, singled home Gregor Blanco in the third inning for the Giants. Joaquin Arias' sacrifice fly in the second brought home Michael Morse with the first run.

Giants non-roster invitee Mark Minicozzi, who played for independent league teams from 2009-11, homered off Jon Rauch in the two-run ninth.

The Royals, who entered the game with a Cactus League-leading .332 batting average, managed just four hits, only two after the first inning.

"We had three of our hottest hitters out of the lineup," Royals manager Ned Yost said, mentioning Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez. "It was just one of those days, not really much (offensively)."

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Giants: Lincecum did not strike out a batter or walk one.

"I just wanted to pound the zone a little bit more than I did," Lincecum said. "My last game I had a batter where I threw four straight balls and I was really trying not to let that happen and attack the zone. Even if I was behind to hitters, come back and make really good pitches. That's where my mindset was at."

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