PHOENIX -- Angel Pagan's last swing of the bat for the Giants on May 25 was a memorable one -- a game-winning inside-the-park homer. At the time, nobody believed it would require such a long memory to reflect on it.

After an 84-game absence caused by a left hamstring tear that required surgery, Pagan finally picked up where he left off. On his first major league swing in more than three months Friday night, he belted a double over the head of Arizona right fielder Gerardo Parra.

Pagan took third on Marco Scutaro's sacrifice bunt and scored on Brandon Belt's sacrifice fly, and, amazingly, Tim Lincecum and three relievers made it stand up for a 1-0 Giants victory at Chase Field.

"I'm glad we decided to bring (Pagan) back a couple days early or we might still be playing," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's great to have him back."

Pagan was a surprise addition to the starting lineup as the Giants opened the second leg of a nine-game, three-city trip against the Diamondbacks, and it was hard to tell who was happier about the reunion, the veteran outfielder or his teammates.

"It was nice to have him back, and he put a smile on everybody's face," said Lincecum, who pitched six shutout innings. "He just brings back an energy, having him at the top of the lineup."

Pagan wasn't supposed to be activated until the Giants expanded the roster Sunday, but he couldn't wait. After playing 10 rehab games in the minors, including the last six with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, Pagan called Giants head trainer Dave Groeschner on Thursday and said he was ready for a return to the major leagues.

His impact was immediate. The Giants seemed to have an extra bounce to their step all night, turning in one of their best defensive games of the year and getting a strong effort from Lincecum and the bullpen.

But that first Pagan swing, on an 0-2 pitch no less?

"It felt good, and it felt even better running the bases," he said. "All that work we put in paid off. I've been waiting for this moment for so long, and I'm so happy to be back with the guys and help them in any way I can."

When Pagan played his last game, May 25, the Giants were 27-22 and tied for first place in the National League West. In his absence, they went 32-52 and dropped to last place.

How much better might the Giants have been had they had Pagan the past three months?

"I don't know," said Bochy. "I think it would have made some difference. To say we'd be right there, no, I don't think you could say that. There have been too many areas where we've had our hiccups with pitching and defense."

Pitcher Matt Cain, however, said the team might have underestimated how important Pagan is to their identity.

"I think having him back is going to be a spark plug for the guys," he said. "He was a big part of what we did last year."

Pagan said he probably won't be 100 percent through the final month of the season -- he's around 90-95 percent, he estimated -- but said his hamstring is fully healed. He added that his rehab regimen will continue into the offseason. It will require more stretching to keep his hamstring muscles limber.

"Every day," he said. "This is something I'm going to have to keep an eye on, maybe for the rest of my career. But it doesn't bother me, because I do a lot of stretching anyway."

Despite just two strikeouts, Lincecum (8-13) was sharp against an Arizona club against which he had been 0-6 with a 7.04 ERA in his previous seven starts. His turning point came in the sixth, when Pablo Sandoval made a great diving stab to his right of an A.J. Pollock shot down the line with the bases loaded and threw out Pollock to end the Diamondbacks' biggest threat.

"Pablo made a great, great, great play, and then a strong throw to finish it off," Lincecum said.

Javier Lopez, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo each pitched an inning of scoreless relief, Romo notching his 33rd save.

  • To make room on the roster for Pagan, the Giants optioned outfielder Francisco Peguero to Triple-A Fresno.

  • Cain (bruised forearm) is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session Saturday.

  • Yusmeiro Petit was named as Sunday's starter.

    Saturday's game

    Giants (Ryan Vogelsong 3-4) at Arizona (Trevor Cahill (5-10), 5:10 p.m. CSNBA