Giants beat Phillies 8-2

May 10, 2008 9:02:43 PM PDT
Omar Vizquel energized the Giants just by being back on the field and playing the Gold Glove defense that so defines him. His three hits were merely a bonus. It didn't hurt that Tim Lincecum threw strikes all day, either.

Randy Winn hit his first home run of the year, Aaron Rowand connected against his former club for the second time in just more than a week and San Francisco ended a season-worst five-game skid with an 8-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

"I hope if I can get hits and get on base that I can help get that energy back," said Vizquel, finally back on the field following Feb. 27 surgery on his left knee. "Overall, no pain so far. Let's see how I wake up tomorrow. I think it's going to be OK."

Lincecum (5-1) struck out eight in eight impressive innings to outpitch 45-year-old Jamie Moyer, and Vizquel had three hits and scored a run in a successful return from the disabled list.

Jose Castillo doubled and matched his career high with four hits, scoring twice for San Francisco. Dan Ortmeier hit a two-run double in the Giants' three-run third and Emmanuel Burriss added a sacrifice fly in the inning.

Vizquel went 3-for-5 batting in the No. 2 hole, part of a balanced attack by the Giants. Rowand followed his second-inning homer with a pair of singles and scored two runs, while Winn also had a solo shot and two base hits.

"You talk about Omar's defense, but he can do a lot offensively," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's going to be big in our lineup. He's going to really help us get production throughout the order."

Vizquel received a warm ovation for his first game of 2008, which generated much interest back home in Venezuela. The 41-year-old Vizquel began his 20th major league season about a month later than he'd planned - becoming the first Venezuelan to play 20 seasons in the majors.

Dave Concepcion and Andres Galarraga each played 19 years in the big leagues, and Luis Aparicio 18.

"I feel honored I've had that chance and really proud that I've been playing this game for that long," Vizquel said.

Vizquel, an 11-time Gold Glove winner at shortstop, was cheered when he stepped into the batter's box in the first inning and again when he hit a sharp single to left.

"Vizquel's a good one, man," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of his former star with the Cleveland Indians.

Vizquel made his two toughest plays of the day in the ninth inning. He had to scurry backward to make the catch on Chase Utley's popup, then fielded a sharp grounder by Ryan Howard moments later.

"I wanted them straight at me, every ground ball," Vizquel said with a grin.

Howard hit a leadoff homer on the first pitch from Lincecum in the second to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead, then Rowand tied it with his fourth homer leading off the bottom half. Chris Coste also homered for Philadelphia, a seventh-inning solo shot.

Moyer (2-3) faced a pitcher 22 years his junior for the second straight start. The 23-year-old Lincecum was born on June 15, 1984 - eight days after Moyer signed his first contract. Lincecum grew up in the Seattle area and watched Moyer pitch for the Mariners. Moyer earned his first big league win one day after Lincecum's second birthday.

Moyer took his first road defeat and was done after four innings, his second-shortest outing of the season after going just 3 2-3 innings in his first start.

"It took me until the fourth inning to pick up my tempo," Moyer said. "I'm upset with myself. I had a good bullpen, but didn't maintain it."

Lincecum struck out the side in order in the first on 11 pitches, all on called third strikes. He hit 97 mph on the radar gun.

He retired Jimmy Rollins on three pitches, then set down Shane Victorino on four pitches and Utley on four more.

"I found my rhythm early throwing strikes and fed on that the rest of the game," Lincecum said.

Lincecum, who allowed two runs and four hits, gave himself the lead with an RBI single up the middle in the second. Of his 105 pitches, he threw 74 for strikes.

"You know you have to pick your pitches because you're going to score just one or two runs against him," Coste said.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in his second game back from the disabled list after hitting a two-run homer Friday night and missing the cycle by a triple. He had been sidelined for a month with a sprained left ankle.

Notes: Lincecum is 3-0 in four starts following Giants losses. ... Rowand, the Giants' CF, received his first Gold Glove award, for 2007, from Manuel before the game. "It was special to have all these teammates who I played with come up and congratulate me," he said. "If there was ever an individual award I coveted, it was that." Rowand played the past two seasons with the Phillies before signing with the Giants in the offseason. "He doesn't drift mentally out there," Bochy said.