SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Tim Lincecum arrived in Scottsdale last month with high hopes. After two down seasons, Lincecum wanted to leave the Cactus League with respectable numbers and joked about his desire to grow a memorable mustache.

Five weeks later, the hair on Lincecum's upper lip would make Tom Selleck proud, but his spring ERA grew just as quickly.

Lincecum couldn't make it out of the fifth inning Sunday against the Kansas City Royals, giving up seven runs on 11 hits, including three homers in the Giants' 13-9 victory. After allowing just two runs in his first three spring starts, the right-hander was charged with 12 runs over 10 innings in his final two outings in the desert. Lincecum will head home with a 6.52 ERA, but manager Bruce Bochy wants him to hone in on a different number: In 191/3 spring innings, Lincecum has walked just five, a far cry from past springs.

"Today certainly inflated (the ERA), but I really liked, for the most part, where he was with his pitches" this spring, Bochy said. "He has kept the ball down and commanded the fastball. Usually in the spring, that's what he battles. For the most part he has been pretty good with his command. Today he was just off."

In search of easier outs and quicker innings, Lincecum has hoped to pitch to contact more often this season. The Royals took advantage of that approach Sunday. A Lorenzo Cain triple brought home the first run, and Salvador Perez put the Royals up 2-1 with a solo homer in the fourth. With two outs in the fifth, Jason Donald poked a three-run shot into the right field bullpen. Carlos Peguero followed with a solo blast that landed near the top of the grass berm in right-center field.


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Lincecum said his body started "drifting" toward the plate, causing him to leave too many balls up in the zone. With one start left before the regular season, Lincecum remains confident that he can find consistency.

"Even today with the scuffles, those were things I can fix," he said. "They put some good swings on pitches, and you've got to tip your cap there. But I can still work out of those things a little better than I did today. Right now, it's about locking into the season and trying to get out of that spring training mode you kind of get into."

  • Pablo Sandoval smiled and shook his head when asked about the state of extension talks between the Giants and his agent, Gustavo Vasquez. "No comment," Sandoval said.

    The third baseman said he isn't involved in the negotiating and has told Vasquez not to bring it up unless a good offer is on the table. According to CSNBayArea.com, the Giants made a three-year, $40 million offer Friday that was rejected by Sandoval's side.

    It's a complicated situation for the Giants, who have about $400 million in salary commitments after giving lucrative deals to Matt Cain, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence. The Giants already have $127 million committed to just 12 players for the 2015 season. The front office hasn't ruled out further negotiations before the March 31 season opener, but a deal is said to be unlikely.

  • Three days after getting a second injection in his back, Marco Scutaro returned to the team workout. The second baseman took grounders and joined his group for batting practice, although he did appear to be swinging gingerly.

    Scutaro, 38, has just two at-bats this spring because of back irritation that has bothered him for more than a year. Just before Scutaro returned to the field, the Giants placed veteran infielder Tony Abreu on release waivers, leaving 24-year-old Ehire Adrianza and veteran Brandon Hicks as the only infielders fighting for one last backup spot. If Scutaro starts the season on the disabled list, Adrianza and Hicks would be with the big league club on opening day.

    Adrianza helped his case Sunday by hitting a mammoth homer. Brandon Crawford also homered, and Gregor Blanco drove in three runs.

  • Right-hander George Kontos was optioned to Triple-A and left-hander Dan Runzler was reassigned to minor league camp. The Giants have just five pitchers -- Yusmeiro Petit, David Huff, Jean Machi, J.C. Gutierrez and Derek Law -- vying for three bullpen spots, with the first three considered favorites because they are out of options.

    For more on the Giants, see Alex Pavlovic's Giants Extra blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/Giants.