Padres can't solve Lincecum to back Hahn

Rookie allows three runs in seven innings; Conrad, Grandal homer

Padres can't solve Lincecum to back Hahn

SAN DIEGO -- Two weeks after being no-hit by Tim Lincecum, the Padres gave their San Francisco nemesis a completely different look Sunday, with four different players starting and none occupying the same spot in the lineup. It was all for naught, though, as Lincecum had another solid outing to lead the Giants to a 5-3 win.

Lincecum (8-5) wasn't nearly as dominant as he was in that June 25 no-no and struggled a bit with control (four walks). But he still limited the Padres to one run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings, with six strikeouts.

"Pretty similar to what we saw from him last time," said third baseman Chase Headley. "We weren't able to string anything together."

San Francisco (49-39) clinched the three-game series with the victory. San Diego (39-49) came into this weekend hoping to revive its long-shot playoff hopes, but after winning Friday for a season-best five-game winning streak, the Friars lost the final two contests in dispiriting fashion.

Jesse Hahn (4-2) came into the game with four wins and a 0.75 ERA in his last four starts behind a mid-90s fastball and devastating 12-6 curve, but the rookie was shaky early on.

"I think the early innings, they were sitting on my curveball a little bit," Hahn said. "I had to make the adjustment and start throwing my changeup and slider a little bit more. I think I made that adjustment a little too late in the game."

Hunter Pence, who sparked the Giants' offense with three runs scored, doubled to lead off the game before scoring on an RBI single by Brandon Belt. He then singled in the third and scored on a Joe Panik double to give San Francisco a 2-0 lead, which became 3-0 when Panik was plated by Michael Morse's RBI single.

"Pence was a pain in the butt his first couple at-bats, which he is for a lot of Major League pitchers," said Padres manager Bud Black. "But I was really impressed how Jesse hung in there."

Hahn held the Giants scoreless for the rest of his outing, at one point retiring 11 in a row. He ended with a line of five hits and three runs allowed with two walks and five strikeouts in seven innings and a career-high 101 pitches. But it wasn't enough with Lincecum as his counterpart.

Lincecum got through 3 2/3 innings without allowing a hit before first baseman Jake Goebbert singled to right to quiet any early rumblings of yet another historic performance by the right-hander. Chris Denorfia followed with a walk to make Goebbert the Padres' first runner in scoring position, but Brooks Conrad flied out before they could truly get anything going.

In his next at-bat, though, Conrad launched a solo home run, his first since joining the Padres, to snap Lincecum's 23-inning scoreless streak and cut the deficit to 3-1.

"It's a dream come true," Conrad said. "Growing up in the San Diego area, East County, going to Padres games ... it's a special thing. I'm just here to do my best every day and represent San Diego."

Lincecum was removed after that, and San Francisco's struggling bullpen let San Diego make it interesting late. The Giants' lead was cut in half in the eighth when Yasmani Grandal clobbered a monstrous two-run, 435-foot homer off Sergio Romo, who was recently removed from the closer's role after blowing three saves in five chances.

"When guys go through rough patches, they just leave balls out over the plate," Grandal said. "He missed on a slider, and obviously that's his best pitch so that's what you're looking for."

But Santiago Casilla set the Padres down 1-2-3 in the ninth to deny them a chance to win their second consecutive series, which hasn't happened since San Diego took two of three from the Marlins and Reds from May 9-15.

Will Laws is an associate reporter for You can follow him at @WillLaws. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.