Despite all of the struggles that San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum has faced this season, one game may have turned things around

Lincecum threw his first career no-hitter in a 9-0 win at San Diego on Saturday night, giving the two-time Cy Young Award winner a boost after beginning the year with a 4-9 record.

The right-hander threw a career-high 148 pitches while striking out 13, walking four and hitting a batter. The 148 pitches were the second-most thrown in a no-hitter since at least 1988. Edwin Jackson made 149 pitches with Arizona in his no-hitter in 2010.

“It’s pretty surreal for me just to be part of that,” Lincecum said after the game. “I got to see a couple, but to be in the middle of it is a little different. I think I’m still kind of pinching myself right now.”

Lincecum got some help from right-fielder Hunter Pence, who dove to catch a liner hit by the Padres’ Alexi Amarista to end the eighth inning.

“I thought that was a hit, but Hunter comes flying out of nowhere and makes the Superman catch,” Lincecum said. “That was awesome.”

Lincecum came into the game after losing four straight decisions, with his last win on June 4. Run support hasn’t been there, but this time the Giants scored plenty of times.

In the ninth inning, Lincecum struck out Chase Headley before getting Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso on fly-outs.

Once the Giants’ ace, Lincecum has struggled since last season, when he went 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA. He ended 2012 in the bullpen. But his last two starts have propped up his confidence. Lincecum pitched seven innings, allowing six hits and three runs, getting a no-decision in a 4-3 loss to the New York Mets on July 8. He has fanned 24 batters in his last 16 innings.

It was the 15th no-hitter in Giants’ franchise history. The Padres are the only major league team that hasn’t thrown a no-hitter.

Now, if Lincecum can build off of his no-hitter, and the rest of the Giants starters can turn things around, San Francisco might find itself in contention in the second half in the NL West.

Scherzer loses 1st game: Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer was trying to become the first pitcher in the major leagues to start a season 14-0 since Roger Clemens did it in 1986. But the fire-balling right-hander suffered his first loss of the year on Saturday, dropping a 7-1 decision to Texas on Saturday.

Scherzer allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings. It was his first loss since Sept. 23.

“That’s what happens when you don’t quite pitch as well,” Scherzer said.

Mitch Moreland hit a two-run homer to give the visiting Rangers a 3-0 lead in the fourth.

“He probably wasn’t as dominant,” Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter said. “We just couldn’t get any run support for him. Tonight, we failed him.”

Scherzer went 22 starts (19 regular season, 3 playoffs) without a loss.

StatsWatch: Here are the most no-hitters thrown by major league teams -

  • Dodgers, 20
  • Red Sox, 19
  • White Sox, 18
  • Reds, 16
  • Giants, 15
  • Indians, 15

Source: Baseball Almanac

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