It might not have been vintage Tim Lincecum, but it's the closest the former Cy Young Award winner has gotten this season.
The right-hander will try to build off his first victory of 2012 this evening as the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres meet for the second contest of a three-game series.
The 2008 and '09 recipient of the National League Cy Young, Lincecum was pitching to a 10.54 earned run average with an 0-2 record through his first three starts prior to winning the opener of a doubleheader against the Mets on Monday. Lincecum gave up just one run and struck out a season-high eight batters, but also gave up four walks and five hits over just five innings of work.
Still, it was enough to give the 27-year-old a bit of relief afterwards.
"I can't always expect the big results right out of the gate," said Lincecum of earning his first win of the season. "Baby steps ... and like I said, I'll take what I got right now."
Lincecum has gotten plenty of wins over his career versus the Padres. He went 4-1 with a 1.64 ERA in five starts against them last season and sports a career mark of 9-4 with a 1.96 ERA in 18 matchups.
While the 2006 former first-round pick has plenty of experience against the Padres, San Diego's Anthony Bass will face the Giants for the first time as a starter.
Bass has hurled 8 1/3 scoreless innings of work over four relief appearances against San Francisco and began this season in the bullpen before moving into the rotation due to injury.
The 24-year-old righty won for the first time in three starts on Sunday, beating the Phillies while yielding one unearned run on three hits and five walks. He struck out seven over six innings and survived three errors by the Padres in addition to his numerous walks.
"Anthony threw the ball well when he needed to," manager Bud Black said on his team's website of Bass, who was making his sixth career start. "As the game went on, he smoothed out some things in his delivery and became efficient. He escaped some jams with some pitches."
The Padres drew first blood in this series on Friday night, riding six solid innings from Cory Luebke and Nick Hundley's four-hit game to a 5-3 victory.
Luebke scattered seven hits while striking out three over 100 pitches and Huston Street tossed a perfect bottom of the ninth to record his third save of the year.
"Anytime you throw that many pitches early you have to find a way to get as many innings as you can out of your arm," said Luebke. "I just wanted to try to get through six and turn it over to those guys (the bullpen) because they've been lights out for us."
Hundley finished with an RBI and a run scored while Chase Headley scored twice and also knocked in a run to help the Padres earn their second straight victory and fourth in six games.
Eric Hacker took the loss in his first major league start after yielding three runs on eight hits. Hacker did fan seven while his batterymate Buster Posey belted a solo home run and knocked in two of the Giants' three runs, but San Francisco lost for the third time in four games.
"For you to have a good year, a winning year, you need the timely hits," remarked Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "We have talked about this in the past and you're hoping that doesn't get inside their head and they go up there with the confidence that they're going to get it done."
Pablo Sandoval, meanwhile, continues to get it done for the Giants. He extended his franchise-record hitting streak to open a season to 20 games with a single in the third inning and is hitting .329 (27-for-82) on the season with three homers and 13 RBI.
He is also only two games behind his career-best hitting streak, a 22-gamer he logged from June 19-July 30 of last season.
The Giants won 12 of 18 versus the Padres last season.