SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecum followed the best regular-season start of his career with one of the worst.
In his first outing since throwing a 148-pitch no-hitter, Lincecum was pulled with two outs in the fourth inning of an 11-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday at AT&T Park. He was charged with a career-high eight earned runs.
Manager Bruce Bochy and Lincecum both knew the question that was coming, and Bochy answered it unprompted.
"He's coming off a start where we let him go," Bochy said. "He had a chance to do something special. It's hard to measure that (and) the nine days since he pitched and the Reds hitters, but I think if he gets out of the first inning, it's a different ballgame."
Lincecum threw 31 pitches in the first inning and nearly got out of it unscathed. But Todd Frazier hit a three-run double to deep center field with two outs. Lincecum appeared to be laboring as the inning went on but said he felt fine physically.
He didn't throw during the All-Star break but took his normal bullpen session and had no physical issues in the days after the July 13 no-hitter against the San Diego Padres.
"There was no toll," he said. "I felt normal. I didn't feel anything different than usual."
Bochy felt Lincecum's stuff was crisp in the first inning, but it quickly diminished. Devin Mesoraco opened the second inning with a solo homer on an 87 mph fastball that crossed the heart of the plate. Two batters later, Shin-Soo Choo crushed an 89 mph fastball that again stayed right over the middle. With one out in the third, Jay Bruce jumped on a changeup that hung chest-high, launching it into the deepest part of the arcade section.
"I just feel that after that (first inning) you've got to settle down and make better pitches," Lincecum said. "I left a lot of pitches up in the zone, and they continued to tally runs."
After back-to-back singles with two outs in the fourth, Lincecum was pulled. He gave up nine hits, walked one and had just two strikeouts after reaching double-digits in his previous two starts. Lincecum threw 78 pitches while becoming the sixth pitcher since 1900 to allow eight runs in his first start after a no-hitter.
"He threw quite a few pitches (in the first), and that seemed like it caught up to him," Bochy said. "That first inning took a toll. You're so close to getting out of it. It's deflating."
The Giants have been humbled all season by a Reds team they beat in the National League Division Series last year. The Reds have won all four meetings, outscoring the Giants 25-3. With a doubleheader looming, Bochy left long reliever George Kontos on the mound for 63 pitches, 23 more than his previous high in the big leagues. The Reds, on the other hand, didn't touch their bullpen.
Bronson Arroyo, who threw a six-inning complete game against the Giants earlier this month, needed just 108 pitches to toss a shutout.
"Honestly, it's a little bit embarrassing," first baseman Brandon Belt said. "It's something we definitely want to change."
The final blow came when Derrick Robinson reached over the center field wall to pull back Jeff Francoeur's blast with two outs in the ninth. The ball flipped back toward the playing field, and Robinson caught it with his bare hand.
"That sucked," Francoeur said. "I crushed it. I put a good swing on it, man. That's what type of night it was for the Giants tonight."
Righetti and Hayes were said to be there as a personal favor to Wilson, but the Giants have kept tabs on Wilson throughout his rehab from a second Tommy John surgery. A source said Wilson was planning to throw for scouts Thursday in Los Angeles.
"We've tried to stay in touch throughout the process and monitor his progress," assistant general manager Bobby Evans said. "His rehab is our responsibility. He's a Giant, and we've been in touch with his people as he considers his options. We've kept the door open the whole time."
"My arm is back to 100 percent," he said. "Repeating mechanics is part of the process, (but) my arm feels good. There are no limitations. This week is the best my arm has felt."
Cincinnati (Greg Reynolds 0-0) at Giants (Eric Surkamp 0-0), 4:05 p.m. CSNBA
Cincinnati (Tony Cingrani 3-1) at Giants (Barry Zito 4-7), 7:15 p.m. CSNBA