Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt found another way to torment San Francisco right-hander Tim Lincecum on Tuesday.
Goldschmidt teased Lincecum by hitting a sacrifice fly in a two-run first inning before breaking out the usual hammer in the third inning, hitting a three-run homer off the left-field foul pole that helped propel the Diamondbacks to their fourth victory in five games and kept their slim playoff chances alive in a 7-2 victory over the new NL West champions at AT&T Park.
The matchup against Lincecum, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, has brought the best out in Goldschmidt since his contract was purchased from Class AA Mobile on Aug 1, 2011. Goldschmidt made his second major league start against Lincecum at AT&T Park the next night, and his two-run homer in the fifth inning gave the D-backs a lead for good.
It has been love/hate relationship ever since.
Goldschmidt’s three-run shot for a 5-0 lead Tuesday was his fifth homer off Lincecum in 14 career at-bats. Lincecum has started six games against the D-backs since Goldschmidt arrived, and Goldschmidt has homered in five of them. In the other one, he doubled.
Goldschmidt is 8-for-14 (.571) with 10 RBI in the matchup. Only Washington shortstop Ian Desmond (9-for-11, .818) has a higher batting average among opponents with at least 10 at-bats.
“Obviously I’ve had a little bit of success against him. But you never know what is going to happen,” said Goldschmidt, adding that he hit an offspeed pitch, either a changeup or slider, that was up in the strike zone for his homer. “It had a little help with the wind. It was good to get some runs early.”
Goldschmidt had a career-high five RBI — after his sacrifice fly in the first and his homer in the third, he hit a sacrifice fly in a two-run fifth inning. Both those runs were charged to Lincecum, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy brought in reliever Dan Runzler before Goldschmidt batted in the fifth.
Goldschmidt had all of the D-backs’ RBI, the other two runs scoring on wild pitches by Lincecum and Runzler. Lincecum has lost six straight to the D-backs.
“On Goldy’s side, he’s a very humble guy. On Lincecum’s side, I know he’s trying everything he has, and he has great stuff. We have our nemeses as well, believe me,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.