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Lincecum hurls two shutout innings in debut

Lincecum hurls two shutout innings in debut

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- At his best, Tim Lincecum displayed a knack for self-maintenance by adjusting his pitching mechanics in the middle of a game.

Lincecum executed this sort of quick fix Monday, becoming the fifth Giants starter in a row to work two scoreless innings before the San Diego Padres surged to a 7-2 victory.

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Lincecum realized in the second inning that he was moving toward home plate with his back to the target instead of his front (left) side. This caused him to elevate his fastball, as evidenced by Kyle Blanks' leadoff double and Ryan Jackson's one-out walk.

"I was falling toward home plate instead of driving," said Lincecum, who recovered by slipping a called third strike past Jace Peterson and retiring Rymer Liriano on a fielder's-choice grounder.

Lincecum was sharper in the first inning, when he coaxed three consecutive groundouts.

"That's what I'm looking for," said Lincecum, who has renewed his focus on keeping his pitches low after finishing 20-29 with a 4.76 ERA in the previous two seasons.

Manager Bruce Bochy is certainly looking for the sharpness the starters have sustained in the last five games. Lincecum, Tim Hudson, Ryan Vogelsong, Madison Bumgarner and rookie Edwin Escobar have combined to allow three hits, issue one walk and strike out six in 10 shutout innings.

"That says a lot about the type of shape they've come in and where they are with their stuff," Bochy said.

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.

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