"He missed his spot, but it was still a good pitch," Molina said.
The crowd, which roared for Lincecum after he struck out the side in the sixth inning and when he batted in the Giants' half, serenaded him with another brief ovation.One pitch before singling, Gwynn hit a foul tip that Molina couldn't grab. To do so would have been virtually impossible.
"You can't control those things," Molina said. "Sometimes you catch it, sometimes you don't. You're trying to catch the ball; you're not trying to catch a foul tip."Gwynn sounded happy just to make contact against Lincecum.
"He can locate all three pitches anywhere. And he rarely ever, ever misses up with his changeups," Gwynn said. "If he misses with his location, he's usually OK, because the ball is down. It might as well be a split-finger. The ball just dives. If you've got command of all three pitches and you throw 95 [mph], it makes it a lot more difficult on the hitters."Lincecum insisted that Gwynn's hit didn't leave him crestfallen.
"After I gave up that first hit, it was like it came in the first inning or the third inning," Lincecum said.But the Padres, who trailed, 6-0, when the seventh inning began, sustained a serious enough rally to chase Lincecum and bring the potential go-ahead run to the plate before Sergio Romo, who issued a bases-loaded walk upon entering the game, retired Evereth Cabrera on a comebacker to end the threat. The Giants amassed three homers, an occurrence for them almost as rare as a no-hitter. Molina belted a two-run homer off Padres starter Matt Geer (1-4) in the first inning before Travis Ishikawa and Juan Uribe combined for San Francisco's first back-to-back homers of the season in the fifth. Pablo Sandoval, who finished a close second in the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote, contributed a two-run double in the fifth. Uribe, Randy Winn and Nate Schierholtz added eighth-inning RBI singles to seal the Giants' third victory in nine games against San Diego.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.