Cactus League Opener - Giants 8, Mariners 7

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by Tony White

KING5.com

Posted on March 3, 2010 at 10:00 PM

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -- Tim Lincecum abandoned the windup and threw out of the stretch hoping that he would throw more strikes.

It didn't work.

The two-time Cy Young winner lasted just one inning in his spring debut, but the San Francisco Giants beat the Seattle Mariners 8-7 in 10 innings Wednesday.

"I had been struggling out of the windup," he said. "So I told "Rags (pitching coach Dave Righetti) that I was going to throw from the stretch more, that I could throw more strikes."

Lincecum was expected to throw two innings. He worked only the 29-pitch first, giving up two hits and three runs.

The Giants went up 3-0 in the top of the first. In the bottom half, Ichiro Suzuki reached on an error by first baseman Aubrey Huff. Lincecum then walked successive hitters before Ken Griffey Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to right.

Jose Lopez and Casey Kotchman followed with run-scoring singles to right to make it 3-all.

Lincecum said he was a little more "amped up" than usual.

He was even more amped up after he finished. Lincecum, who grew up in Seattle, had his interview interrupted by a surprise visitor.

Griffey, walking back to the Mariners' clubhouse after the third inning, wandered over.

"Lincy, what's up," Griffey said. "Just wanted to say hi."

After the brief meeting, Lincecum was clearly affected.

"Wow, he just came over here. What were we talking about?" Lincecum said. "I followed him. I'm a Seattle native, so getting to watch him do his thing, actually all those guys -- (Jay) Buhner, (Joey) Cora was awesome. Just to have a guy like that come over, it caught me off guard.

"First time to face him, I don't know what to say," Lincecum continued. "It's like Randy Johnson last year, I got to play with him and watch him at the same time, and got to do the same thing with Omar (Vizquel) a couple of years ago. I don't know, maybe there's a couple more Mariners on the way."

Conor Gillaspie's base-loaded single to left drove in the winning run for the Giants in the 10th.

The Mariners, down 7-5 in the ninth, scored a run on Dustin Ackley's one-out infield groundout. Ackley was the team's first pick (second overall) in last June's draft.

Jack Hannahan followed with an infield single to tie it.

The Giants had a 7-3 lead after four innings, highlighted by Emmanuel Burriss' two-run double in the fourth.

Mariners starter Doug Fister, a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation, was not effective in his opening inning. Three of the first four batters scored, one on Fred Lewis' triple and two more on Huff's first-pitch home run over the right field wall.

"I haven't focused on, 'I have to make this starting rotation,"' said Fister, who appeared in 11 games late last season. "I was brought to camp with the idea from Day One I wanted to pick up where I left off last year and help this team any way I can."

His problem in the first inning was location. He's not overpowering so he needs to keep the ball down. He didn't.

"I got a couple balls in the middle of the plate. Obviously, I need to get the ball down. Location isn't where it needed to be." he said. "We have one of the best infields, if not the best in baseball. Tying to utilize that is my key."

Fister said he made some mechanical adjustments after the inning and they seemed to work. He struck out the side in the second.

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