Lincecum racks up 7 K's in solid start against A's

Giants righty goes spring-high five innings; Sanchez, Crawford drive in runs

Lincecum racks up 7 K's in solid start against A's

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Eric Sogard's two-run triple snapped a sixth-inning tie and led the A's to a 6-4 Cactus League victory over the Giants on Thursday night.

San Francisco, the reigning World Series champions, fell to a Major League-worst 6-19 this spring. The Giants have dropped nine of their last 11 games.

Giants starter Tim Lincecum pitched a spring-high five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) and two walks. He struck out seven batters, hiking his strikeout total to 14 in 13 Cactus League innings. A's starter Jesse Chavez yielded four runs (two earned) and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Lincecum on his outing, 2015

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Situational slump: The Giants were unable to capitalize on promising opportunities in the early innings. They loaded the bases with nobody out in the second inning and came up with only one run, then wasted Nori Aoki's leadoff triple in the third inning.

Danny Boy: Right-hander Dan Otero continues to eat up innings out of the bullpen much the same way he did last year. The A's versatile reliever, who has added a cutter to his repertoire this spring, tossed three perfect innings to lower his spring ERA to 2.57.

Sogard's two-run triple

Streaking Sogard: Sogard, though flying under the radar this spring because of his expected role as a utility player, quietly keeps hitting. Batting from the No. 9 spot Thursday, Sogard's two-run triple was his sixth extra-base hit in his last 10 games. He's 12-for-29 in that span.

Chavez fans Aoki

Traffic controller: Though Chavez desired to compile more innings, he was at least happy to work his way out of a handful of jams, leaving three on base through his first three innings -- including Aoki in the third.

"The biggest thing," Chavez said, "is throwing strikes and being able to get out of jams and show them you're not just going to sit there and overthrow your stuff."

QUOTABLE

"It comes down to one or two pitches per inning. I just have to keep my pitches down. The ones that they're hitting are the ones that are up. Leadoff batters are locking in to some of the first pitches." -- Lincecum, on why he has alternated bad innings with good ones

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford was charged with just his second error in 16 spring games, but it was tainted. Hector Sanchez, who is trying to win the backup catcher's job, couldn't quite come up with Crawford's relay home on Billy Butler's two-run third-inning double, and the ball trickled away harmlessly. Neither Sanchez nor Lincecum had the presence of mind to pick up the ball, enabling Butler to move to third base. The official scorer had no choice but to assign Crawford an error, though he did nothing wrong.

Butler's two-run double

WHAT'S NEXT

For the A's: Right-hander Jesse Hahn, seemingly already locked into a rotation spot thanks to a strong spring showing, makes the start against the Rangers at Hohokam Stadium on Friday at 1:05 p.m. PT. The game will be available as an exclusive audio webcast on athletics.com. Tyler Clippard, expected to start the season at closer, will also pitch in the game, as will R.J. Alvarez and Eric O'Flaherty.

For the Giants: San Francisco will borrow right-hander Chris Heston, who already has been optioned to Triple-A Sacramento, from Minor League camp to confront the Dodgers in a 7:05 p.m. PT contest at Glendale. The game can be seen on MLB.TV and is also available as an exclusive audio webcast on giants.com. It's Madison Bumgarner's turn to pitch, but the Giants opted to use the Opening Night starter in a Minor League game to limit the Dodgers' familiarity with him. After all, Bumgarner conceivably will face Los Angeles quite frequently this year.

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