Marcio Jose Sanchez Associated Press Tim Lincecum walks to the Giants' dugout after his 1 1/3-inning stint against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He said offseason workouts have given him the strength to stay strong mechanically.

Lincecum pleased despite numbers

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 - 6:10 pm

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The huge smile on Tim Lincecum's face told a different story than the numbers in the scorebook.

Lincecum was charged with three runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, but he said he was pleased with how he felt physically and mechanically.

"It's just a good sign to feel like the ball is coming out of your hand better than the year before," Lincecum said. "Mechanically, I felt really good. The timing of my arm was good. It didn't feel like I was getting out of whack. I was still holding my mechanics."

The outing was unique for Lincecum because it marked the first time this spring he faced a hitter. Most pitchers throw off a mound several times before coming to spring training, but Lincecum stayed on flat ground because he was still working on mechanical tweaks.

After Lincecum worked around an error in a scoreless first, the Dodgers had three hits in the second, with the dagger being Jeremy Moore's two-run double on a slider Lincecum said "kind of just spun."

"Other than that," he said. "It wasn't too bad."

Manager Bruce Bochy said he liked Lincecum's rhythm on the mound and thought he had good stuff.

"He occasionally got out of sync last year, and he knows it," Bochy said. "He worked hard on cleaning it up."

Lincecum said a strenuous offseason workout routine has given him the strength to stay strong mechanically.

"Last spring, it was all about trying to make something out of nothing," he said. "The question now isn't whether or not I'm going to throw strikes. It's where I'm going to throw strikes."

The Giants rallied for four runs with two outs in the ninth in an 8-8 tie. Brock Bond hit a two-run homer, and after pinch hitter Johnny Monell singled, Brett Pill hit his second homer of the day.

A's Griffin looks sharp in spring debut

A.J. Griffin, who never threw a pitch in a spring game before starting for the A's in the American League Division Series against Detroit last season, finally made his first Cactus League start.

Griffin threw two shutout innings in a 9-4 loss to Arizona in Scottsdale, Ariz. He gave up one hit and struck out three.

"He's a huge piece for us," Josh Reddick said. "He's proved he belongs in the rotation."

As a rookie last season, Griffin won his first six decisions and the A's went 12-3 in his 15 starts, during which he was 7-1.

"He was so good right away that the expectations went up," manager Bob Melvin said. "You expected he would go 40-0. That's unrealistic, but he's a good pitcher who will get better and better.

"Today, he was really, really good. When he's at his best, he's painting, and today, he had his paintbrush out from the first."

Griffin said establishing "early control" is one of his goals this season.

"Last year, I would throw 30 pitches in the first inning," he said. "I'd wind up throwing six innings. If instead I could throw 12, I could get into the seventh or eighth."

Shane Peterson continued his nice spring, hitting his third double. He's 5 for 10 with a homer.

Peterson, who came to Oakland in the Matt Holliday trade with St. Louis in 2009, hit .389 in 28 games after a promotion to the River Cats last year.

"There's no question that he's swung the bat well right from the get-go," Melvin said.

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