Tim Lincecum's no-hit bid nearly ended in the bottom of the eighth inning when he faced San Diego's Alexi Amarista with two outs. Thanks to outfielder Hunter Pence, Lincecum went back into the dugout with three more outs left to make history.
On a 2-2 pitch, Amarista lined a low slider into right field with Pence playing deep. But Pence got a good jump on it and was able to make an incredible diving catch to end the inning. Lincecum immediately raised his fist as Pence got up with a smile on his face. The two-time Cy Young winner didn't walk into the dugout until he gave Pence a high-five.
Three batters later, Lincecum completed his first career no-hitter.
"To be honest with you off the bat I thought it was a hit for sure. Amarista is a good hitter," Lineceum said on MLB Network after the game. "He hit it a low line drive but out of nowhere comes flying Superman Pence to make the great catch, It's kind of hard not to feed off that energy to go into that next inning."
Lincecum also got some help in the seventh inning when Padres pinch-hitter Jesus Guzman hit a sharp ground ball down the third baseline. But San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval was there to make the backhanded stop before throwing him Guzman out at first.
When Lincecum was asked if he would buy Pence a dinner, the 29-year-old replied, "Yes definitely, him and Pablo."
Another Giants pitcher, Matt Cain, probably knows how Lincecum feels when it comes to those defensive plays. In the seventh inning of Cain's perfect game last season, outfielder Gregor Blanco made a diving catch to keep the first perfecto in San Francisco history alive.