Another no-hitter for Giants' pitcher Tim Lincecum against Padres

The San Diego Padres had seen this before.

They were looking for any way to break it up.

Tim Lincecum pitched his second no-hitter against the Padres in less than a year, allowing only one runner Wednesday and leading the San Francisco Giants to a 4-0 win.

"You're talking about a guy that's won a couple of Cy Youngs,'' Padres manager Bud Black said.

"He's pitched very well against us. There are no secrets. His secondary stuff was outstanding. We couldn't be patient enough on some pitches. He threw a great game.''

The Padres, who fired general manager Josh Byrnes on Sunday, outscored the Giants 13-2 and outhit them 20-9 in the first two games before Lincecum totally shut them down, striking out six and walking one.

"Coming off last night's game, I thought we had some momentum coming into this one,'' Black said. ``It goes to show you that on any given day a starting pitcher can shut a team down.''

Lincecum retired the final 23 batters after walking Chase Headley in the second inning. Though the Padres hit a few balls hard, San Francisco fielders didn't need to make any exceptional plays to preserve Lincecum's gem.

"He was good. It wasn't a fluke,'' Headley said. ``His split and changeup or whatever you want to call it is one of the best in baseball. Even with the diminished velocity, it's still a tremendous pitch.''

The 30-year-old Lincecum (6-5) threw 113 pitches for this win, using a big-breaking curve to set up his fastball. Last July 13 at San Diego, he threw 148 pitches while holding the Padres hitless.

"When a guy is really good and has his best stuff and executes, kudos to him,'' Headley said. ``We were trying to get a guy on. We threw some good at-bats at him; we didn't give it to him. There were a few hard hit balls that they made plays on.''

The last three times the Padres have been no-hit were to Giants' pitchers. Jonathan Sanchez threw a no-hitter against the Padres at AT&T Park on July 10, 2009.

The right-hander with two NL Cy Young Awards became just the second pitcher in major league history to twice no-hit the same team. Hall of Famer Addie Joss did it for Cleveland against the Chicago White Sox with a perfect game in 1908 and a no-hitter in 1910.

"We had been hitting the ball real well all over this yard against these guys the last two days,'' Padres first baseman Tommy Medica said. ``But that's why you have to play the games. You never know what's going to happen. Obviously he's got the stuff to do what he did today. He's shown that before.''

This was the third no-hitter in the majors this year.

Clayton Kershaw did it exactly a week ago and his Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Josh Beckett did it earlier in the season.

Headley walked with one out in the second after falling behind 1-2 in the count. The Padres began the day worst in the majors in batting average, runs and hits.

The Padres, incidentally, are the only franchise in the big leagues that has never pitched a no-hitter.

Lincecum struck out pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia to open the ninth. Pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal followed with a tapper back to Lincecum, who tossed to first for the out.

Will Venable was up next, and Lincecum retired him on an easy grounder to second base.

Lincecum took a few steps toward first when the ball was hit, stopped to watch the play and clapped his hand into his glove when it was over.

Catcher Hector Sanchez soon met Lincecum for an embrace, and the rest of the Giants joined in the celebration.

Ian Kennedy (5-9) allowed four runs and nine hits over 6 1-3 innings. He walked one and struck out eight.

NOTES: RHP Tyson Ross (6-7, 3.22) starts for the Padres against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. Ross is 3-6 in San Diego despite a 2.19 ERA. ... The Padres are hosting a public memorial for Tony Gwynn on Thursday at 7:19 p.m. at Petco Park. Gwynn wore No. 19.

 

Photo credit: www.sfgate.com

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