Giants 2, Dodgers 1

April 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Tim Lincecum made his season debut in relief and scored the go-ahead run on Randy Winn's sacrifice fly to help the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 Wednesday night and avoid their first 0-3 start since 1984.

The Dodgers announced less than 20 minutes before game time that Hong-Chih Kuo would start on the mound in place of Chad Billingsley due to the threat of inclement weather. The Giants followed suit, starting Merkin Valdez and keeping Lincecum waiting in the wings.

Lincecum (1-0) threw 84 pitches over four innings, allowing a run and four hits with four walks and four strikeouts. The right-hander got his biggest out when Russell Martin took a called third strike with the bases loaded to end the seventh.

The relief outing was the first in the majors for Lincecum.

Brian Wilson got four outs for his first save.

A light but steady shower began in the top of the third and continued until the umpires called for the tarpaulin with one out in the San Francisco fifth. The 1-hour, 14-minute delay began two pitches after the Giants scored their first run.

The Dodgers have played a franchise-record 1,286 consecutive regular-season games since their most recent rainout, on April 17, 2000 when the Houston Astros were in town.

Both scheduled starters eventually made it into the game. Billingsley faced four batters in one-third of an inning and was charged with a run, yielding to Esteban Loaiza (0-1) after the rain delay. Lincecum continued pitching, and also helped build the go-ahead run with a one-out single in the sixth.

The Dodgers opened the scoring in the fourth with James Loney's two-out RBI single against Lincecum.

The Giants tied it in the fifth on Aaron Rowand's one out sacrifice fly -- which left fielder Andre Ethier misplayed with the rain pelting him in the face. He was charged with an error.

Valdez threw two hitless innings and had four strikeouts before he was relieved by Jack Taschner. Kuo allowed one hit over three scoreless innings, walked three and struck out three before giving way to middle reliever Ramon Troncoso.

Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa began serving the three-game suspension he received from Major League Baseball following his heated exchange on Tuesday night with umpire Ed Montague, who ordered Bowa to stay in within the boundaries of the coaching box and then ejected him after he ignored several warnings.

Giants second baseman Ray Durham, who hurt his left shoulder Tuesday night on a hard takeout slide by Loney, was replaced in the lineup by Eugenio Velez. Durham pinch-hit in the fourth and struck out with two men in scoring position.