Thursday, June 23, 2016

Lincecum looks to build on strong debut vs. A's

Tim Lincecum makes his second start in an Angels uniform Thursday and faces a familiar A's lineup at Angel Stadium in his home debut, opening a four-game weekend series.
Lincecum made his much-anticipated first start of the season Saturday against Oakland at the Coliseum, giving up one run over six innings and earning the win. The 32-year-old righty made three rehab starts with Triple-A Salt Lake prior to Saturday as he recovered from left hip surgery, which he underwent in September.
Lincecum said he thought his mechanics were "erratic" at times in his first start, but felt more comfortable as the game progressed. He struck out two and walked two, relying heavily on a fastball that registered between 88 and 90 mph and a changeup that often darted out of the zone.
"I just tried to gather myself in those later innings," he said. "I feel like I get better as the game goes on because I get a knack for my mechanics and the game speed."
The former Giants star made quite the impression -- and has a significant following -- north of Anaheim in the Bay Area, but he will make his first career start at Angel Stadium Thursday.
He'll oppose A's righty Kendall Graveman, who also faced the Angels his last time out, delivering his best start of the year in a 3-2 win Friday. He gave up one run on three hits over seven innings while striking four.
Graveman struggled early on this year, going 1-4 with a 5.87 ERA in six May starts. He's settled down some, posting a 4.11 ERA in June, and he hasn't always received a lot of help. The A's are average 3.16 runs of support for Graveman this season, which is fourth lowest in the American League among pitchers with 60 innings under their belt.
Things to know
• Graveman has pitched well against the Angels in his career, going 0-1 with a 1.88 ERA in four starts. The one loss did come at Angel Stadium, where he has a 2.45 ERA in two starts.
• No Oakland player has faced Lincecum more than Yonder Alonso, who is 3-for-25 (.120) with eight strikeouts against him.
• The Angels are being cautious with Albert Pujols, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury he initially suffered Sunday against the A's. Pujols is 5-for-10 with a homer in his career against Graveman.

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