Lincecum and Lee leave Rangers, Giants 0-0 after 6

Published 9:09 pm Monday, November 1, 2010

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee matched each other in a brilliant duel, leaving the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants scoreless after six innings in Game 5 of the World Series on Monday night.

With the Giants ahead 3-1 in the Series and trying to wrap up their first title since moving to San Francisco, Lincecum and Lee didn’t allow any runners past first base through the first six innings.

Lincecum gave up two hits, struck out six and walked one in a matchup of Cy Young Award winners, and he threw 49 of 68 pitches for strikes. Lee allowed three hits, struck out five and walked none, throwing 55 of 75 pitches for strikes.

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Lincecum beat Lee in Game 1, with the Giants winning an 11-7 slugfest. This time, they both pitched like aces.

Lincecum retired his first eight batters before walking Mitch Moreland on a 3-1 pitch. Lincecum then struck out leadoff man Elvis Andrus.

The right-hander allowed two balls out of the infield, opposite-field flies to right by Michael Young and Vladimir Guerrero, before Young singled up the middle leading off the fourth. Lincecum retired his next three batters.

Moreland, the No. 9 hitter, singled leading off the sixth but Andrus and Young flied out — both hitting the first pitch — and Josh Hamilton grounded out.

San Francisco’s hits off the left-hander were by Buster Posey in the first, Andres Torres in the third and Freddy Sanchez in the sixth, the latter a sinking liner that glanced off the glove of a diving Nelson Cruz in right and hit his throwing arm.

On the next pitch, Posey hit a drive to deep right-center and Cruz made a jumping grab one step in front of the wall. Posey slapped both hands against his helmet in frustration.

Only five teams have overcome 3-1 deficits in best-of-seven World Series, none since the 1985 Kansas City Royals against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Giants have not won the World Series since 1954, when they still played at New York’s Polo Grounds. They moved to the West Coast after the 1957 season.

If Texas wins to force a Game 6, the Series would resume Wednesday night in San Francisco with Matt Cain pitching for the Giants against C.J. Wilson. Cain has allowed only a single unearned run in 21 1-3 innings over three postseason starts.

The Series extended into November for only the third time, following 2001 and 2009. Former President George W. Bush, a former Texas Rangers owner, watched his third straight game from a front-row seat to the plate side of the first-base dugout.

Lee had been 7-0 in eight postseason starts before losing to Lincecum in the opener, but the left-hander was far sharper this time with his curveball and changeup.

Benched in Game 4, Pat Burrell returned at designated hitter for the Giants rather than left field. Burrell entered 0 for 9 in the Series with eight strikeouts, and 19 strikeouts in 38 at-bats this postseason. Given a green light with a 3-0 count in the second, he fouled off a pitch before flying out to left.

Aaron Rowand got his first start of the Series in center, with Torres moving from center to right. Ross was in left for the second straight day, and Aubrey Huff was back at first base following a one-day stint as DH. Huff hit a go-ahead homer — his first in postseason play — in the third inning of Game 4.

Texas added right-hander Dustin Nippert to its active roster in place of Alexi Ogando, who strained a muscle on his left side during Sunday night’s game.