To be 7-for-14 lifetime against a starting pitcher is pretty solid. To have those numbers include four home runs means you have that pitcher's number. To have those very stats against a pitcher the quality of Tim Lincecum is downright impressive, so Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson came out looking like a genius when he used common sense in putting Paul Goldschmidt in the lineup against Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants Wednesday night.
Goldschmidt hit a solo home run off Lincecum in the top of the sixth inning, and the Diamondbacks went on to beat the Giants 4-1 and avoid a series sweep at AT&T Park. Arizona also ended a four-game losing streak against the Giants, which started after the D-backs won the first four meeting between the NL West rivals.
Ian Kennedy won the battle of struggling staff aces and improved to 4-5, picking up his fifth straight victorious start against the Giants.
Kennedy was at his best in the Giants' sixth, striking out hot-hitting Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey to escape a jam in which runners were at first and second with no outs.
Kennedy might have had a shutout had Justin Upton correctly judged a long fly ball to right field from Gregor Blanco in the fourth inning. Upton headed back toward the wall but appeared to turn too soon, and the ball fell on the warning track without caroming off the wall. Blanco scored on a Ryan Theriot single.
Right field was a bit of an adventure zone for both teams. In the second inning, Blanco made a running catch of a Ryan Roberts fly ball, but dropped the ball moving it from glove to hand, and Miguel Montero came home without sliding. The D-backs took a 1-0 lead on the play.
How good was IPK? He allowed a run on four hits and struck out seven in 7 2/3 innings in what was easily one of his best performances of the season.
Lincecum was almost as good, striking out six and allowing four hits in seven innings. He also walked five.
But when Lincecum left the game, the Diamondbacks struck for two big insurance runs against reliever Steve Edlefsen. After Upton drew a leadoff walk, Montero and Goldschmidt singled sharply up the middle, Goldschmidt's hit driving in Upton. Then after Chris Young hit into a double play, Roberts came up with a big two-out hit to score Montero.
Not to be lost in the win was the defense of left fielder Gerardo Parra, who dived for a catch in the bottom of the eighth but also kept a hit to a long single instead of a double with a short-hop scoop of a one-bouncer earlier in the game. Parra got the call with Jason Kubel on paternity leave.