Earlier this week, Phillies batters beat Diamondbacks starter Dan Haren by attrition: they didn't smack him around, but between masterfully patient at-bats and some Arizona hijinks afield, the NL's ERA leader had thrown almost 120 pitches through five innings, and his night ended early. For awhile Saturday night, it looked like they might do the same to defending Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, as eight Phils reached base through the first five innings . But the slight fireballer hung in long enough to record eight shutout innings against the defending champions, and it was the Giants hitters who did just enough with bloop hits and Phillies misplays to hang a hard-luck loss on Joe Blanton in San Francisco's 2-0 win.
Ex-Phillie Aaron Roward got the Giants started with a one-out ground rule double in the bottom of the fifth. A Fred Lewis grounder back toward Blanton skipped off his glove for an infield single, advancing Rowand to third, and he broke the scoreless tie on Juan Uribe's sacrifice fly to right as Matt Stairs's throw home sailed just up the third base line. The Giants added a second run off Blanton in the seventh on a Travis Ishikawa infield single, a Rowand hit-by-pitch, a Lewis flyout to deep center that moved Ishikawa to third, and another Uribe sac fly.
That was more than enough for Lincecum, who masterfully varied his high-90s fastball with a sick changeup and effective curve and got stronger as the game wore on, retiring the last ten men he faced. Lincecum finished with eight strikeouts to notch his 12th win and lower his ERA to 2.18 for the year.
Cole Hamels squares off against Barry Zito in the series finale Sunday afternoon.