Giants top Twins 6-2
SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval belted a three-run home run in the first inning to give the San Francisco Giants a lead they never relinquished in a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a three-game interleague series Friday night.
Second baseman Brandon Hicks drove in two runs with a homer and a sacrifice fly, and center fielder Angel Pagan had a double and a triple as the Giants (30-18) became the second team in baseball to reach the 30-win mark.
Right-hander Tim Lincecum (4-3) continued his pattern of alternating wins and losses in the month of May. He survived five hits and six walks in six innings to retain the lead Sandoval provided in the first inning.
Coming off a two-game interleague sweep in San Diego, the Twins stranded eight baserunners in Lincecum's six innings, going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Lincecum threw 112 pitches, the first 110 of which were split equally among balls and strikes.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier and first baseman Joe Mauer combined for four of the five hits off Lincecum and each scored a run. Dozier had a double and Mauer a triple.
The Twins stranded 10 baserunners in the game, the Giants just one. Minnesota outhit San Francisco 7-6.
Left-handers Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez and right-hander Jean Machi held the Twins scoreless in three innings of relief.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson (4-4) took the loss for the Twins. Four of the five hits he allowed over five innings went for extra bases, including the home runs by Sandoval and Hicks.
The Giants built a pair of three-run leads in the first four innings, sandwiching a two-run uprising by the Twins in the third.
Sandoval's home run, a no-doubter to right field, provided the first of those margins in the bottom of the first. It was his third homer in the Giants' last three series after he had only two in the first month and a half of the season.
Mauer's RBI triple in Minnesota's two-run third inning came after Dozier's second hit of the game, a single. Mauer scored on an infield out by right fielder Chris Parmalee to close the gap to 3-2.
But the Giants got those runs back with single tallies in the third and fourth. Pagan made it 4-2 in the third when he tripled and scored on an error. Hicks' homer, his eighth, came with two outs and nobody on in the fourth.
Gibson was pulled after five innings, having given up five runs on five hits. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
The game got off to an unusual start when each team's leadoff hitter got tagged out in a rundown shortly after doubling to open the first inning.
Dozier was tagged out between second and third base after getting picked off by Lincecum. Pagan was put out between third and home after trying to score on a ground ball by Posey during the Giants' three-run first inning.