Losing a series to the San Francisco Giants in July doesn’t matter to the Philadelphia Phillies. They’re focused on beating them in October.
Tim Lincecum threw six scoreless innings, Pablo Sandoval hit a solo homer and the Giants beat the Phillies 4-1 on Thursday night in their first game with Carlos Beltran.
The all-star outfielder was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his debut with the defending World Series champions, who won two of three against the major league-leading Phillies in a rematch of the NLCS.
“I know we can get them,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “It’s a matter of us putting things together, and that’s pitching, hitting and playing defence the right way. We can beat them. I know we can. They’re not in our head.”
The Phillies didn’t start two of their three all-star pitchers in this series – Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. The other all-star – Cole Hamels – pitched well, but took the loss Wednesday night.
Elsewhere in the NL it was: Pittsburgh 5 Atlanta 2; Houston 5 St. Louis 3; New York 10 Cincinnati 9; Milwaukee 4 Chicago 2; Florida 5 Washington 2; and San Diego 4 Arizona 3.
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At Philadelphia, Lincecum (9-8) showed no negative effects from the stomach illness that forced him to push his start back two days. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner allowed three hits, struck out six and worked around four walks.
The Phillies hadn’t lost consecutive games since June 4. They went a club-record 45 straight games without dropping two straight.
Sandoval gave the NL West leaders a 1-0 lead when he led off the second inning with an opposite-field shot to left. It was Sandoval’s 10th homer, becoming the first Giant to reach double digits this season. Beltran hit 15 for the Mets before he was traded to San Francisco for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler.
The addition of Beltran should bolster a sagging offence that’s near the bottom in the major statistical categories. Beltran started in right field and batted third. He contributed defensively, making a sliding catch to rob Jimmy Rollins of a hit on a shallow fly in the fifth. Beltran’s streak of reaching base safely was snapped at 32 games.
Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick (5-5) gave up four runs – three earned – and six hits in 6 1-3 innings.
“We’ll see them next road trip,” Kendrick said. “Hopefully we win that series.”
The Giants went up 2-0 in the fourth when Nate Schierholtz ripped an RBI single. Aubrey Huff hit a two-out double and scored on Schierholtz’s liner to right-centre.
In the seventh, the Giants had runners at first and third with one out when pinch-hitter Aaron Rowand hit a grounder to third. Michael Martinez bobbled it and then made a wild throw to first base. Schierholtz scored from third and Chris Stewart came all the way around from first, sliding in safely on a close play at the plate to make it 4-0.
Ramon Ramirez took over for Lincecum to start the seventh. He gave up a double to Carlos Ruiz. Chase Utley drove him in when he hit a double off Jeremy Affeldt later in the inning.
Brian Wilson finished for his 33rd save in 37 chances.
Before the at-bat against Affeldt, Utley had stranded five runners, including three in scoring position, in his first three times up.
The Phillies had a runner on third with one out in the first after Rollins led off with a double and advanced on a bunt. But Utley popped out to shortstop and Ryan Howard struck out. Utley struck out with men on first and third to end the third. He struck out with two runners on to end the fifth.
“The core players that we have have to hit and be around their typical years,” Manuel said.
A crowd of 45,646 on Fireworks Night was the 192nd straight sellout, including post-season play, at Citizens Bank Park. They gave Beltran an earful of boos when he batted in the first.
Pirates 5 Braves 2
At Atlanta, Andrew McCutchen had three hits, including a go-ahead double in the fifth inning and a two-run homer in the ninth, and Pittsburgh managed a split of the four-game series.
Astros 5 Cardinals 3
At St. Louis, Wandy Rodriguez pitched seven innings and retired the last 13 batters he faced and Jason Bourgeois hit a tiebreaking double in the fifth inning to lead Houston.
Mets 10 Reds 9
At Cincinnati, Lucas Duda and Jason Bay of Trail, B.C., each drove in three runs with bases-loaded doubles and New York got its first ever four-game sweep in Cincinnati.
Brewers 4 Cubs 2
At Milwaukee, Ryan Braun had three hits, including a home run, to lead the Braves to their first sweep of Chicago at home since May 2005.
John Axford of Simcoe, Ont., closed out the game to record his 30th save in 32 chances.
Marlins 5 Nationals 2
At Washington, Mike Stanton homered for the second straight game and five Marlins relievers held the Nationals to one run over 5 1-3 innings as Florida completed a three-game sweep.
Padres 4 Diamondbacks 3
At San Diego, Jesus Guzman had two RBIs and rookie Luis Martinez drove in the go-ahead run as the Padres avoided a three-game sweep and won for the second time in six games.