Los Angeles, CA – Pablo Sandoval stroked a two-run homer and the San Francisco Giants took a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Wednesday's rubber match of a three-game set.
Hunter Pence added a solo homer and the Giants received an RBI from starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (1-0), who was effectively wild over five innings.
After a rough 2012 campaign, Lincecum was far from his former dominant self in his first start of the season, tying a career-high with seven walks. He only gave up three hits, though, and while he allowed two runs, neither were earned.
Sergio Romo locked down the save in the ninth and the defending World Series champs will have their home opener on Friday when they host the St. Louis Cardinals.
Josh Beckett (0-1) was charged with the loss after surrendering five runs -- three earned -- on six hits. Luis Cruz had a sacrifice fly as the Dodgers went just 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base.
The Dodgers took the early lead when Carl Crawford raced home from third on a pitch that got past catcher Hector Sanchez.
After Beckett got through the first two innings unscathed, the veteran right- hander was shelled for four runs in the third, and Sandoval's blast put the Giants on top 4-1.
"He threw me a fastball up, and I got around on it and just watched it go," said Sandoval. "It's a good sign when you start the season like this after you win a World Series."
San Francisco received its first run from Lincecum when the pitcher's RBI groundout tied the contest at 1-1. Brandon Crawford advanced to third on the play after reaching with a double and scored on a fielding error by Skip Schumaker to put the Giants in front.
The Dodgers got a run back in the fifth when Matt Kemp scored on Cruz's sacrifice fly, but Lincecum halted the damage from there, getting A.J. Ellis to fly out with runners on first and second to end the inning.
"Tim (Lincecum) wasn't sharp with his pitches, and we had our chances, but just couldn't get a big hit against him," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
Pence restored San Francisco's three-run edge in the top half of the sixth with a solo homer, making it 5-2.
Los Angeles had the bases loaded in the bottom half of the inning with no one out, but came away with just one-run on Kemp's double-play groundout.
The Dodgers then put a seventh inning leadoff double by Andre Ethier to waste, leaving him stranded at second with three straight fly outs. After producing just one hit in the eighth, the Dodgers went down 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Lincecum last walked seven on Sept. 7, 2012 against the Dodgers ... Los Angeles will host Pittsburgh for a three-game set on Friday .. Crawford had three hits for the Dodgers ... Angel Pagan had an RBI for San Francisco.