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Monday, December 16, 2019

Hunter Pence makes diving catch to save Tim Lincecum no-hitter

Tim Lincecum on Saturday threw the seventh no-hitter in San Francisco Giants’ franchise history, and the landmark event wouldn’t have been possible without the excellent defensive play of one of his teammates.

Hunter Pence diving catchWith two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, San Diego Padres center fielder Alexi Amarista hit a line drive to right field that looked like it was going to drop for San Diego’s first hit of the contest. But Giants right fielder Hunter Pence got a great read on the ball and began charging in with no hesitation. He then laid out on his side to make a sweet diving catch to preserve the no-hitter. After that play, it was all downhill for Lincecum, who struck out Chase Headley and then got two flyouts to complete the no-hitter.

“I thought that was a for sure hit,” Lincecum said of Amarista’s ball after the game during an interview with NBC Bay Area. “But you see Hunter flying out of nowhere making the flying grab, that was just really impressive and a big play for us.”

In addition to Pence, third baseman Pablo Sandoval also made a sweet play to preserve the no-hitter. His came with two outs in the seventh:

Lincecum is usually talkative with his teammates during games, but he said he kept to no-hitter tradition and avoided his buddies in the dugout. He also said he tried to avoid thinking about the potential accomplishment.

“I really tried to not think about it at all, even in that last inning. Just tried to stay within myself and make my pitches.”

Lincecum struck out 13 batters in the no-hitter and threw 148 pitches, but he says he didn’t get tired.

“I felt fine out there from the first pitch,” the two-time Cy Young Award winner told NBC Bay Area.

Lincecum’s feat marked the second no-hitter of the MLB season. The first was thrown by Homer Bailey on July 2. Lincecum now gets to add another accomplishment to his impressive resume, which includes four All-Star Games, two Cy Young Awards, two World Series titles and being a three-time strikeout king.

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