PHILADELPHIA Tim Lincecum fielded a comebacker to get out of the third inning Friday night and then turned and headed back for the dugout. At least, that's what he thought was happening.
The play was just the second out of the inning, and as they tend to do in Philadelphia, the Phillies fans let Lincecum know about his mistake.
"They all together were like, 'What the hell is this guy doing,' " Lincecum said after a 7-2 Giants victory.
"I was like, 'All right, I'm an idiot for a minute. Now let's go back to the mound.' "
Lincecum laughed off the blooper, then went right back to dominating the Phillies. He went seven innings at Citizens Bank Park, giving up just two earned runs and picking up his first road win since April 23. The Giants are thrilled to see Lincecum's stuff and results return bit by bit after a stunningly rough first half. They're just as happy to see him smiling on the field again.
"He has a different look," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's pitching with confidence, he didn't get flustered by anything."
In his two post-All-Star-break starts, Lincecum has given up two runs over 15 innings.
Brandon Crawford made sure Friday night's game was an easy one, breaking open the game with a sixth-inning grand slam off Vance Worley, his former summer-league teammate.
Crawford had gone 249 at-bats without a homer before hitting a crucial three-run bomb in extra innings Wednesday. He has driven in eight runs on the trip, helping the Giants jump out to a 3-1 record. Crawford has six career homers; two have been three-run shots and two have been grand slams in support of Lincecum.
Crawford helped out in the field, too, making a diving stop to help Lincecum get through his final inning.
"That was incredible," Lincecum said.
Lincecum hasn't had much reason to celebrate on the road this year. He entered Friday night's game with a 9.00 ERA on the road, with many of the struggles coming in hot, muggy weather.
But that never materialized at Citizens Bank Park, where cloud cover and a steady mist made Philadelphia feel downright San Franciscan.
He looked like his old Cy Young Award-winning self while giving up just five hits and striking out six.
Lincecum had just two stumbles, once when he gave up a homer to Ryan Howard and once when he literally stumbled. With runners on first and third in the fourth inning, Lincecum slipped and fell off the mound during his delivery. Shane Victorino, standing on third, was sent home on the balk.
But Lincecum finished his night smoothly, clinching a second consecutive quality start for just the second time this season.