Tim Lincecum grinds out five innings, picks up first win

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It wasn’t pretty, but Tim Lincecum put together his best start of the young season on Monday, limiting the Mets to one run over five innings to pick up the victory in the first game of Monday’s doubleheader.

Lincecum, who entered 0-2 with a 10.54 ERA in three starts, lowered his ERA to 8.20 with the performance.

Still, it was a tough five innings for the two-time Cy Young Award winning. Lincecum struck out  eight, but he also walked give and threw 108 pitches in his five innings. His velocity remained down about where it has been all season; he was typically throwing 89-90 mph with his fastball, though he did hit 92 mph on the gun.

Lincecum is going to have to keep making adjustments in order to succeed without his usual stuff. It worked out today, and since the Giants scored six early runs, it got him a win. Still, 108 pitches in five innings is far from ideal.

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

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ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.