SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecum finished with a rough pitching line Monday and was kicking himself after walking the opposing pitcher twice, but the only number manager Bruce Bochy cared about was in the innings column.

After nearly getting knocked out in the second inning, Lincecum hung around through six, saving the Giants' heavily worked bullpen and giving his lineup a chance to feast on the opposing group in a 9-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.

"That's one he should feel good about," manager Bruce Bochy said. "The one inning, things went awry. But what was impressive was how he regrouped. You take the other five innings and he was really good."

In all, Lincecum gave up six earned runs in six innings, with the majority of the damage being done in the five-run second inning. Bochy and Lincecum were happy with the right-hander's stuff, but Lincecum said he would go back to the drawing board to find the necessary fixes.

The clearest sign that he is still searching came when Lincecum walked Juan Nicasio after getting ahead of him 1-2 with two outs and two on in the second inning.

"That's really frustrating," he said. "Pitchers should be outs. I put that on myself."

The walk loaded the bases, and Dexter Fowler lined the next pitch for a two-run double. Josh Rutledge followed with a single that scored two more and put the Rockies ahead 5-1.

Lincecum gave up a long homer to Troy Tulowitzki in the sixth inning and walked off the mound trailing 6-2, but against a shaky Rockies bullpen, the deficit wouldn't last long.

Brandon Crawford provided the big blow with a three-run opposite-field homer in the sixth, his second career homer in 333 at-bats at AT&T Park. It was Crawford's first opposite-field homer in the big leagues.

"I've kind of lost the feeling of the opposite field homer," he said when asked if he knew it was out off the bat.

Hunter Pence tied the game with his 1,000th career hit later in the inning, and the Giants scored three times in the eighth to set the table for closer Sergio Romo. Pinch-hitter Andres Torres ignited the rally with a double, and Angel Pagan had the go-ahead hit.

The late push left Lincecum with a no-decision on a night when he looked headed for an ugly loss.

"I thought it was impressive how he kept his poise," Bochy said. "Unfortunately for him, all the innings count."

  • Bochy has always been careful when it comes to labels. He doesn't refer to his opening day starter as the staff ace, saying instead that he feels he has five aces. Even as Romo grabbed hold of the closer job last fall, Bochy referred to the situation as closer-by-committee, and this year he has stopped short of saying Gregor Blanco and Torres are in a full-time platoon in left field.

    When it comes to Lincecum, Bochy said it's possible that Hector Sanchez will essentially be Lincecum's personal catcher this season, but again, this is one label that won't be set in stone. Sanchez has caught both of Lincecum's starts this season.

    "I don't think there's anything wrong when your regular catcher gets a day off and your backup catches the same guy every time," Bochy said before Tuesday night's game. "It becomes a sense of comfort for both of them."

    Sanchez was Lincecum's primary catcher in the second half last season, but Bochy said he wanted to stay away from the "personal catcher" moniker because there will be days when the opponent or schedule leads to changes. Bochy also doesn't want a situation where either Buster Posey or Brandon Belt has to sit because Sanchez needs to catch Lincecum.

    Posey was out of the starting lineup Tuesday because the staff wanted him to get a day off during this series, which ends with a day game on Wednesday.

    For more on the Giants, see Alex Pavlovic's Giants Extra blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/Giants. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/AlexPavlovic.

    wednesday's game
    Colorado (Jeff Francis 1-0) at Giants (Barry Zito 1-0), 12:45 p.m. CSNBA

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