Lincecum's strong start, Pence's homer lift Giants
Right-hander allows just two hits over three scoreless innings vs. KC
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Hunter Pence and Mark Minicozzi belted home runs and Tim Lincecum reeled off three scoreless innings as the Giants defeated the Royals, 5-0, in a Cactus League game on Friday at Surprise Stadium.
Norichika Aoki led off the Royals' first inning against Lincecum with a double down the left-field line, but was thrown out trying to steal third. Later Alex Gordon singled for the other hit off Lincecum, who threw his slider for the first time this spring.
"My curveball felt good, I threw a few sliders in for first pitches -- and that was a pitch that it didn't take too long to get the feel for," Lincecum said.
The Giants took a 2-0 lead against hard-throwing right-hander Yordano Ventura, who walked Michael Morris and gave up a single to Hector Sanchez to start the second. Morse scored on Joaquin Arias' sacrifice fly.
Gregor Blanco opened the Giants' third with a double to deep center and scored on Tony Abreu's single.
"Even though I gave up two runs, I felt like I threw a lot of good pitches," Ventura said through translator Bruce Chen. "My arm felt very good and my offspeed pitches were working very well.
Right-hander Wade Davis, competing with Ventura for the fifth starting spot, took over in the fourth. In his three innings, he gave up one run -- Pence's homer to center, his first.
Minicozzi hit 6-foot-11 Jon Rauch's first pitch of the ninth inning into the right-field bullpen. It was Minicozzi's second this spring.
Following Lincecum to the mound were Brett Bochy with one scoreless inning, Kameron Loe with two and Derek Law with one.
Erik Cordier added a scoreless eighth inning despite walking the bases loaded. He got the third out by slipping a third strike past Johnny Giavotella.
Right-hander George Kontos finished the shutout with a perfect ninth inning.
Up next: The Giants host the Mariners at 12:05 PT on Saturday, and Ryan Vogelsong will take the hill for his first Cactus League start and third outing overall. Vogelsong has allowed a run over five frames this spring. After an off day Friday, first baseman Brandon Belt will likely return to the starting lineup, looking to continue a torrid Spring Training that has seen him hit .500 with two doubles in five games. The game can be seen live on MLB.TV.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.