Giants win as Sanchez makes playoff debut

GLENDALE — It wasn't the type of postseason debut that Freddy Sanchez had planned, but what the San Francisco Giants second baseman couldn't do at the plate, pitcher Tim Lincecum did with his arm.

Sanchez, a former Burbank High and Glendale Community College standout, went hitless in four plate appearances in San Francisco's 1-0 home victory against the Atlanta Braves in the first game of the National League Division Series on Thursday night.

Lincecum proved to be the star for the Giants, who will host the second game of the five-game series at 6:37 p.m. today before the series moves to Atlanta on Sunday. The right-hander struck out 14 and allowed two hits in a 119-pitch performance.

Sanchez, a three-time All-Star and the 2006 National League batting champion, had plenty of opportunities to give the Giants an added cushion. However, Sanchez left three runners on.

His first playoff at-bat came in the first inning. After Andres Torres opened with a single, Sanchez hit into a 4-6-3 double play on an 0-1 pitch from Derek Lowe.

In the third, with Cody Ross on second and Torres on first and no outs, Sanchez grounded a 1-0 pitch back to Lowe for a fielder's choice. Sanchez then recorded groundouts in the fifth and eighth.

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