SAN FRANCISCO -- Forget the numbers, Tim Lincecum said -- which in his case is difficult to do.

The Giants right-hander finished 0-3 with 10.57 ERA in spring play after surrendering five runs over 42/3 innings Thursday night in a 7-3 loss to the A's. Lincecum struck out six but gave up another epic home run to Yoenis Cespedes.

Still, Lincecum swears he's primed for his first regular-season start -- Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.

"I feel like my stuff is there," the two-time N.L. Cy Young Award winner said. "I definitely have confidence in all of it."

Manager Bruce Bochy agreed: "I thought he threw the ball well. I was pleased with Timmy's outing, and he should be, too."

Coming off a career-worst season, Lincecum did little this spring to suggest a rebound. He struggled with a blister on his throwing hand and totaled just 151/3 innings over five starts, giving up 22 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts.

Lincecum was sharp in the early innings Thursday, throwing 24 of his 28 pitches for strikes. In a rare pairing with Buster Posey, the pitcher said he just threw whatever the catcher called. His fastball touched 92 mph on the stadium radar gun. But because his changeup was dancing, he and Posey relied on it too often.

"I started to get changeup happy," Lincecum acknowledged.

Cespedes made him pay by smashing a hanging changeup deep into the left-field seats in the fourth. He had blasted an even longer homer against Lincecum five days earlier.


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"He made two bad pitches look like home runs," Lincecum said. "He did what he was supposed to do with them."

  • Pablo Sandoval (right elbow) took batting practice before the game and homered from each side of the plate, raising hopes the third baseman will be ready for opening day.

    Bochy said Sandoval looked a little rusty from the left side but was "optimistic" about getting the World Series MVP in time to face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. He said it was "critical" Sandoval face competitive pitching and left the door open for the third baseman to play Friday against the A's.

    "We can't ever stop looking at the big picture," Bochy said. "It's a long season, and we're not going to push him if we don't think he's ready. We have to be comfortable that he's ready to go."

    Sandoval hasn't played since March 16 and has had multiple tests on his elbow after reporting pain following a bout of ulnar neuritis. Bochy sounded in no hurry to make a decision and said the team is prepared "if we have to go another direction for a week or so."

    Joaquin Arias started at third base against the A's.

  • Brian Sabean, who got a contract extension through 2016, is already the longest-tenured general manager in San Francisco history. This is his 17th season. Chub Feeney served 23 years -- 11 in New York and 12 after the club moved west. Bochy, also extended through 2016 on Thursday, has a 503-469 (.517) regular-season record in six seasons with the Giants. He is 22-9 (.710) in the postseason, including 8-1 in World Series games.

  • Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford went 2 for 3 with a double and a triple, raising his spring average to .373 and delighting an announced crowd of 40,630. He also made several sensational defensive plays, including one in which he ranged far to his left to rob Eric Sogard of a hit. "He put on a show tonight," Bochy said.

  • The Giants re-signed reliever Ramon Ramirez to a Triple-A contract.