Lincecum shows flashes of dominance in spring debut

Giants pitcher strikes out two, gives up one hit in one inning

Lincecum shows flashes of dominance in spring debut

MESA, Ariz. -- Tim Lincecum displayed skills and shortcomings alike within a four-batter span Tuesday in the Giants' 9-4 Cactus League loss to the A's.

Lincecum demonstrated his potential for dominance, striking out two and reaching two-strike counts to each hitter he faced while working the third inning. He also proved susceptible to lapses as he surrendered Ben Zobrist's leadoff double and wild-pitched him home.

Then again, since this was an exhibition opener and no pitcher can be counted on to maintain midseason form at this juncture, Lincecum's effort was more promising than ominous.

"I felt pretty good out there," Lincecum said. "My fastball had some life and my changeup was good at times."

Lincecum also tinkered with his curveball and indicated that he might mix in his slider as time passes. He observed that as he develops his variety of deliveries, he'll be better able to use secondary pitches, such as breaking balls to try to coax more strikeouts.

Lincecum made no excuses for Zobrist's drive to left-center field, the only hit he permitted. Said Lincecum, "I left the pitch up. He hit it well."

Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young Award winner (2008-09) and four-time All-Star (2008-11), is striving to re-establish himself in San Francisco's starting rotation after finishing last season in the bullpen.

Told that Lincecum felt satisfied with his performance, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, "He should have been. I think he had pretty good command of his fastball."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.