SAN FRANCISCO – Tim Lincecum and five relievers combined on a weird two-hitter, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 5-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.
Lincecum struck out five, walked four and hit a batter in another wild but effective start. George Kontos (1-0) retired four straight before John Baker singled to right with one out in the seventh against lefty Jeremy Affeldt for Chicago’s first hit.
The Cubs have the longest streak in the majors without being no-hit. The last time it happened to them was 1965, when Sandy Koufax pitched a perfect game for the Dodgers.
Hector Sanchez hit a two-run double, and three others drove in a run to help the Giants (34-19) extend the best record in the majors. San Francisco has won six of seven after holding the Cubs scoreless in consecutive games.
Edwin Jackson (3-5) gave up two runs on four hits in 5 1-3 innings for the Cubs, who have not won a road series since last September. He struck out nine and walked two.
The Giants allowed 10 baserunners – five walks, two hits, two errors and a hit batter. San Francisco beat the Cubs 4-0 on Tuesday night behind Tim Hudson’s gem.
Most outs never came so easily in the series finale.
Lincecum tossed a 148-pitch no-hitter at San Diego on July 13 last season, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy declined to stretch him out this time.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner labored through a 32-pitch first inning that ended on Nate Schierholtz’s sharper lineout to first baseman Buster Posey with runners on second and third. He tossed another 20 in the second and pitched a perfect third.
The right-hander hit Schierholtz and overcame an error by shortstop Brandon Crawford on a grounder in the fourth. And after walking Emilio Bonifacio in the fifth, Lincecum got Junior Lake to ground into a double play.
It was the second straight erratic outing for Lincecum. He walked six in six innings in San Francisco’s 6-2 win over Minnesota last Friday.
Affeldt walked Justin Ruggiano and gave up Baker’s clean single. Jean Machi got two outs on three pitches, Juan Gutierrez allowed a single to Anthony Rizzo in 1 1-3 scoreless innings and Javier Lopez got the final two outs in the ninth.
San Francisco supplied support for the pitching staff in the late innings.
Pablo Sandoval and Tyler Colvin drove in a run in the sixth, and Sanchez hit a two-run double to highlight a three-run seventh that gave the Giants a 5-0 lead.
Bochy said Sanchez will continue to catch Lincecum most of the season. He said the move is made, in part, to save Posey from the bumps and bruises that often come with catching Lincecum.