Lincecum shuts down Astros in 5-2 Giants win
HOUSTON Lincecum (1-0) allowed four hits and struck out seven with no walks to shut down a Houston offense that started the season with star slugger Lance Berkman on the disabled list. The Giants got a boost from new left fielder Mark DeRosa, who scored in San Francisco's three-run second inning and added a solo homer in the eighth. Houston starter Roy Oswalt (0-1) allowed seven hits and three runs in six innings as he extended his team record to eight straight opening day starts. Sergio Romo allowed two hits in a scoreless eighth inning. Houston finally got on the board in the ninth when Carlos Lee singled and scored on a ground out by Pedro Feliz. J.R. Towles followed with an RBI double off Brandon Medders. Brian Wilson came in for the last two outs and the save. Lincecum retired the first five batters before Feliz singled in the second. Lincecum didn't allow another hit until a single by Lee with two outs in the fourth, before retiring Geoff Blum to end the inning. About the only thing that slowed Lincecum was the mud that got stuck in his cleats with one out in the fifth. He walked off the mound and motioned to the umpire before a Giants trainer came out and handed him something, which he used to dig the chunks of mud out from in between the spikes. He then returned to the mound and quickly retired the next two batters. Houston's Michael Bourn got his first career hit against Lincecum with bullet single the pitcher had to duck to with one out in the sixth inning. Bourn was 0 for 10 against Lincecum before the hit. Kaz Matsui gave Houston consecutive hits for the first time in the game with his single to right field. But Lincecum retired Hunter Pence and Lee to end the inning. He pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, striking out Feliz and Towles. The performance improved his record to 34-2 in 55 starts when the Giants score at least three runs. Bengie Molina hit an RBI single in the second and John Bowker's run-scoring single pushed the lead to 2-0 and sent pitching coach Brad Arnsberg to the mound for a chat with Oswalt. Juan Uribe added one last run with his sacrifice fly to right field that scored Molina. The Giants pushed their lead to 4-0 with Edgar Renteria's RBI double in the seventh inning off Chris Sampson. Oswalt allowed a single in each inning he pitched after the second and was helped in the third and fifth innings when Houston turned double plays. NOTES: Former President George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara had front-row seats behind home plate. The Bushes, who have a home in Houston, often attend sporting events in the area. Barbara Bush was recently hospitalized after a mild relapse of Graves disease, a thyroid condition. ... Tommy Manzella became the first rookie to start for the Astros on opening day since 2005 when he started at shortstop on Monday.
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