Tim Lincecum hit in knee by liner, X-rays come back negative

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The Giants were given quite a scare last night when right-hander Tim Lincecum was hit in the inside of his left knee by a line drive off the bat of Athletics first baseman Daric Barton in the fourth inning and had to be helped off the field. However, it appears that things could have been much worse.

Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that Lincecum was left with a contusion on his knee, but X-rays ruled out a fracture or any major structural damage. We’ll know a lot more about his status after he arrives to the ballpark today, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy expressed optimism about his ability to make his season debut next Thursday against the Diamondbacks. If he’s unable to go, Yusmeiro Petit would fill in.

Lincecum, who signed a two-year, $35 million extension with the Giants in October, is coming off a 4.37 ERA and 193/76 K/BB ratio over 197 2/3 innings last season.

Astros extend winning streak to 11 games

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The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.

The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.

Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.

After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.