SAN FRANCISCO – Tim Lincecum’s days of dominance may be in the past. That doesn’t mean he can’t dial up flashes of the Freak he once was — especially against the San Diego Padres.
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.
“I’ve always been that guy who will kind of go for the strikeout,” Lincecum said. “I think my first no-hitter I had 13, so I think I was going for those a little bit more often.
“Today I tried to be a little bit more efficient and take what they were going to give me. They were giving me a lot of groundballs and a lot of pop flies, so I was just going to try to keep attacking the way that I was,” he said.
Lincecum totally shut down the weakest-hitting team in the majors, striking out six and walking one in a 113-pitch outing — 35 fewer than he needed last July 13 against the Padres in his first no-hitter.
Lincecum retired the final 23 batters after walking Chase Headley in the second inning, relying much more on his off-speed stuff than his fastball. Though the Padres hit a few balls hard, San Francisco fielders didn’t need to make any exceptional plays to preserve Lincecum’s gem.
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.
“It’s hard enough to do one,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “To do two, that puts you in a little different class. I couldn’t be happier.”
Lincecum (6-5) threw the 16th no-hitter in Giants’ team history. Just one other pitcher has thrown two — Christy Mathewson for the New York Giants more than 100 years ago.
In fact, Lincecum joined Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson and Roy Halladay as the only pitchers with two Cy Young awards and two no-hitters.
Making the performance even sweeter was the fact that Lincecum even got two hits of his own, becoming the first pitcher with two hits in a no-hitter since Rick Wise hit two homers for Philadelphia against Cincinnati on June 23, 1971.
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.
Marlins 3, Phillies 2
In Philadelphia, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a two-run double for Miami, and Henderson Alvarez threw 6⅔ strong innings.
Reds 4, Cubs 1
In Chicago, Mat Latos pitched seven impressive innings for his first win of the season and Jay Bruce had two run-scoring doubles that led Cincinnati past the Cubs.
Brewers 9, Nationals 2
In Milwaukee, Scooter Gennett had a grand slam and five RBIs, Khris Davis added a solo shot, and the hosts roughed up ace Stephen Strasburg in a rout of Washington.
Strasburg (6-6) was tagged for eight hits and seven runs in 4⅔ innings. It matched a career-worst outing for Strasburg, who also allowed seven earned runs in a two-inning start against Miami on July 12, 2013.
Cardinals 9, Rockies 6
In Denver, Matt Adams homered and drove in two runs, Matt Holliday had three hits, and St. Louis rallied to beat Colorado.
Braves 4, Astros 0
In Houston, Justin Upton homered for the second straight game and had three RBIs and Alex Wood pitched seven scoreless innings to help Atlanta beat the Astros.
Dodgers 5, Royals 4
In Kansas City, Wade Davis plunked A.J. Ellis with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning, sending Los Angeles past the Royals.
Indians 6, Diamondbacks 1
In Phoenix, Corey Kluber gave Cleveland a much-needed quality start, pitching seven effective innings to help beat Arizona and end a four-game losing streak.
Athletics 8, Mets 5
In New York, Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run double, slumping Brandon Moss had a two-run homer and Oakland jumped all over an ineffective Zack Wheeler and the Mets.
Rays 5, Pirates 1
In St. Petersburg, Florida, David Price struck out 11, becoming the first pitcher in 10 years to fan at least 10 in five straight starts, and Tampa Bay beat Pittsburgh.
Red Sox 5, Mariners 4
In Seattle, David Ortiz hit the 449th home run of his career in the first inning, added a line drive RBI single off the wall in the third, and Boston avoided a sweep.
Ortiz connected for a two-run shot off the windows of the cafe in right field at Safeco Field against right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (5-4), who allowed five hits and five runs in eight innings.
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara worked one scoreless inning and earned his 16th save in 17 tries.
Angels 6, Twins 2
In Anaheim, Garrett Richards pitched four-hit ball into the eighth inning to win his fourth straight decision, and Los Angeles earned its fifth straight victory.
Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3
In Toronto, Mark Teixeira hit a two-run home run, Hiroki Kuroda won for the first time in four starts and New York beat the Blue Jays to snap a four-game skid.
Kuroda (5-5) won for the first time since May 28, at St. Louis, allowing three runs and eight hits in 6⅓ innings. He gave up a home run to Jose Reyes on his first pitch.
Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-3 for the Yankees.
Toronto’s Munenori Kawasaki went 2-for-3 with a run and a walk.
Orioles 5, White Sox 4 (12)
In Baltimore, Nelson Cruz hit a tying grand slam in the eighth inning and David Lough scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the 12th, sending the Orioles over Chicago.
Tigers 8, Rangers 6
In Arlington, Texas, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez homered on consecutive pitches by different Rangers pitchers and Detroit stretched its winning streak to six games.