Cody Ross delivers two home runs, Tim Linceum outduels Roy Halladay in San Francisco Giants’ win

PHILADELPHIA — Cody Ross grew up dreaming to become a rodeo

clown. Tim Lincecum barely looks grown up at all.

The

Giants do not scare you when they

walk off the bus. Their roster wasn’t built so much as thrown

together. They have more characters than a sitcom writer’s

brainstorm session.

And after a 4-3 victory Saturday in Game 1 of the NLCS, they

have the league’s attention.

Ross hit two home runs — thrusting two surprising lances into

Roy Halladay’s thick armor — and Lincecum pitched from his heels

for seven innings but proved himself the better man in a celebrated

matchup.

Brian Wilson worked a four-out save as the underdog

Giants stunned the two-time

defending NL-champion Phillies and their fans at Citizens Bank

Park.

“We have some characters here, you know, whether you want to

call them castoffs or misfits,”

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “I

compare them to the Dirty Dozen. That’s the way they play, but

they’ve coalesced into a team that goes out there to win.”

Nobody would dare wolf whistle at stone faces like Charles

Bronson or Lee Marvin, but Tim Lincecum’s long hair made him an

inviting target for the Phillies’ inventive fans. The ballpark

filled with the sound of 40,000 mockingbirds for each of Lincecum’s

at-bats.

Despite some shaky moments, including a rare mound visit from

Bochy after Lincecum showed frustration in the third, Lincecum

didn’t let the hostile environment affect him. After grounding out

in the seventh, he laughed at third base coach Tim Flannery as the

crowd whistled him all the way into the dugout.

“You’re fighting more than just the Philly team,” Lincecum said.

“It turns into the whole Philly atmosphere. You know you’re going

to get that coming in here. It just makes the environment that much

more fun, that much more special, and a lot more pressure.”

Lincecum’s other thought on the whistles?

“I was thinking I must have a really nice butt,” he said,

laughing.

In a game that was billed as a crossing of swords between

Lincecum and Halladay, neither pitcher emerged without a scratch.

Lincecum allowed six hits and three walks and struck out eight in

seven innings; Halladay lost to the

Giants for the second time this

season, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out seven

in seven innings.

Both pitchers allowed two home runs.

Ross said last week that he grew up in New Mexico, the son of a

chiropractor by day and cowboy by night, and he did his share of

mutton busting as a kid. But he really dreamed of being the guy in

the barrel and painted face.

He took the barrel to Halladay, all right. The Phillies’ ace was

coming off his historic no-hitter of the Cincinnati Reds in his

first career postseason start, and he retired the first seven

Giants before Ross cracked his home

run into the left field seats with one out in the third. It was the

first hit Halladay allowed since the eighth inning on Sept. 27, to

Adam Dunn of the Washington Nationals. He had retired 40 of 41

since then.

Ross knew Halladay well. He was 0 for 3 against him as a member

of the Florida Marlins on May 29, when Halladay threw the 20th

perfect game in major league history.

“In the past, I’ve tried everything against him,” Ross said.

“Try to wait him out, try to be aggressive, and I guess in between.

I was just looking for a pitch to drive and luckily I got it.”

The Phillies tied it when their own No. 8 hitter, Carlos Ruiz,

hit a home run off Lincecum in the bottom of the inning.

But Ross didn’t miss another pitch down the middle, putting the

Giants ahead with another shot that

landed in nearly the same spot in the fifth. He joined Jeff Kent,

Rich Aurilia and Will Clark as the only

Giants in the club’s San Francisco

era to hit two home runs in a postseason game.

Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff

chuckled when told Ross is a streaky hitter.

“If you’re going to be streaky now’s a nice time for it,” Huff

said of Ross, who was claimed off waivers from the Florida Marlins.

“He’s been a nice garbage find for us.”

The

Giants’ two-run sixth turned out to

be golden. Pat Burrell hit a run-scoring double off Raul Ibanez’s

glove in deep left field, and Juan Uribe’s single up the middle

scored pinch runner Nate Schierholtz to give the

Giants a 4-1 lead.

“I’m thinking there’s no way we’re going to make it this easy,”

Huff said. “Two pitches later, it’s 4-3 and I’m thinking, ‘That’s

about right.'”

Lincecum yielded a two-run homer to Jayson Werth. But Bochy

trusted his ace, letting him hit in the seventh. And Lincecum

rewarded him with a quiet, 11-pitch inning.

Javier Lopez retired Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the eighth,

Wilson finished the rest and the

Giants won another game with no

margin for error. Each of their four postseason victories has been

by one run.

They don’t win going away. But they keep winning.

“We like the odds stacked up against us,” Wilson said. “If all

the odds say we’re going to lose, then what do you have to

lose?

“We went out there played our game, attacked the zone, we had

our ace going and we shut the door. We were able to draw first

blood. That eases the tension and takes the air out of the other

team.

Giants lead series 1-0

(Best-of-7; x-if necessary)

TV: FOX Radio: 680-AM

GAME 1:

Giants 4, Phillies 3

TODAY:

Giants (Sanchez 13-9) at

Philadelphia (Oswalt 13-13), 5:19 p.m.

TUESDAY: Philadelphia (Hamels 12-11) at

Giants (Cain 13-11), 1:19 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: at

Giants, 4:57 p.m.

x-THURSDAY: at

Giants, 4:57 p.m.

x-SATURDAY: at Philadelphia, 12:57 p.m. or 4:57 p.m.

x-NEXT SUNDAY: at Philadelphia, 4:57 p.m.

InsideInman: Lincecum ignores the distractions. Page 10 Pat

Burrell gives

Giants a boost in return to Philly.

Page 11