SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants hardly needed the recovery of Hunter Pence's stolen scooter to stay on their major roll Wednesday.

When things are falling into place like they are right now, though, a happy ending to the scooter caper was a fitting postscript to a superb six-game homestand. The Giants shut out the Chicago Cubs for the second straight day, this time 5-0, and concluded their latest AT&T Park run with five victories in six games.

Lots of good baseball stuff happened on this day for the Giants, who climbed to a major league-best 15 games over .500 at 34-19. Pablo Sandoval continued his torrid streak with an RBI hit in his eighth straight game and it broke a 0-0 tie in the sixth inning. Despite a 32-pitch first inning, Tim Lincecum tight-roped his way through five no-hit innings, and the bullpen carried that no-no into the seventh. Hector Sanchez engineered the two-hit shutout behind the plate, then whacked a game-breaking two-run double in the seventh.

In the aftermath, though, Pence's scooter stole the show. A horde of cameramen and photographers surrounded the now-famous two-wheel vehicle in the clubhouse after the game to grab a shot of it, and Pence drew the biggest media crowd among the many Giants heroes.

"We can all sleep tonight, he got his scooter back," said manager Bruce Bochy. "I think whoever took it felt the pressure and said, 'I'm out of here. I'm getting rid of this thing.' "

The scooter turned up in the middle of the game, just before the Giants finally broke a scoreless tie.

"I was running in from the outfield and (reliever Juan) Gutierrez had this huge smile on his face and he high-fived me," said Pence. "I said, 'What just happened?' and he said, 'They got your scooter!' It was pretty exciting."


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The scooter was parked next to Lincecum's locker and he had to share the spotlight with it. But after laboring through five tough innings and 96 pitches, he was in good humor about things considering how the game turned out.

"Three cops brought it in," Lincecum said. "We don't even get that kind of chaperone to the airport."

It was another messy but admirable performance by the Giants right-hander, who walked four and hit a batter but managed to keep the Cubs off the scoreboard with the help of a spectacular first-inning play by Sandoval and a couple of breaks in a duel with former Giant Nate Schierholtz. Schierholtz hit a screamer to right that was inches foul, then hit a liner to first baseman Buster Posey to end the inning.

From that point, Lincecum settled in and pitched much better until a small blister developed on his right middle finger that kept him from extending his no-hitter beyond five innings.

"I'm starting to make a habit of taking out guys with no-hitters," said Bochy, who had to remove Matt Cain with one after three innings last week because of the pitcher's hamstring problem. "(Lincecum's) pitch count was up there pretty good, he'd worked hard even though he had great stuff. He was starting to develop a little blister, but even with that, it was time."

Lincecum said he didn't expect the blister to impact his next start. He was more upset with the start Wednesday, even though he was generally happy with the end result.

"I found the zone more like I wanted to, but 30 pitches in the first kind of gets to you," he said. "Pablo made that great play down the line that kept everything where it needed to be, and I just went to work after that."

George Kontos (1-0) wound up getting the win when he extended the no-hitter for another 11/3 innings into the seventh, but the Cubs -- who own the longest streak of having not been no-hit, dating to 1965 -- finally broke through when former De La Salle High standout John Baker singled off Jeremy Affeldt with one out in the seventh. Jean Machi ended the threat by getting two groundouts with just three pitches, and the Giants broke it open in the bottom half.

Sandoval, meanwhile, had another banner day with two hits and a walk to hike his average to .246 after being at .167 three weeks ago. He also has driven in 13 runs during his current eight-game RBI streak.

His RBI hit in the sixth was a beauty, a liner up the middle with two strikes. When he was going bad, he was almost an automatic out when he had two strikes -- 2 for 61 at rock bottom.

"I just tried to play pepper with the pitcher, not do too much," Sandoval said.

As for the end of the scooter affair, Pence said he's thinking about auctioning the recovered machine for charity since he's already ordered new wheels.

"Maybe we have it do something good in the community since this was like a together-we're-Giant-type story," the outfielder said. "Everybody had my back, so maybe we can use the scooter to raise some money for charity."

  • Cain threw a bullpen session before the game and barring a setback, will start Saturday in St. Louis.

    Follow Carl Steward on Twitter at twitter.com/stewardsfolly.

    THURSDAY'S GAME

    Giants (Ryan Vogelsong 3-2) at St. Louis (Jaime Garcia 1-0), 5:15 p.m. CSNBA

    EFFECTIVELY Wild

    Tim Lincecum's no-hit bit Wednesday was cut short because of a high pitch count and a small blister on his right middle finger. In his past four starts he's walked 17 but allowed only six earned runs. A look at those starts:
    Date Opp. Result IP ER SO BB NP

    Wednesday CHC W, 5-0 5.0 0 5 4 96
    Friday MIN W, 6-2 6.0 2 4 6 112
    May 17 MIA L, 0-5 6.0 3 6 3 114
    May 12 ATL W, 4-2 7.2 1 11 4 113