CINCINNATI -- Nate Schierholtz went 3-for-5 in both games of Monday's doubleheader sweep of the New York Mets at Citi Field, becoming the first Giants player to have at least three hits in two wins on the same day since Tito Fuentes in 1973, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. More importantly, it kept Schierholtz on a hot streak to begin the 2012 season.
The right fielder had two triples, a home run and three RBIs in the two games to raise his season average to .372 heading into Tuesday's game.
"I'm just having fun and not over-thinking things," said Schierholtz. "We're just trying to win games. When you focus on the team and winning, everything else just falls into place."
The Giants have won their last four series since being swept at Arizona to open the season and are 9-4 since those opening games to climb above .500 and into second place in the National League West. As much praise as the pitching receives, it's been more than just Schierholtz's bat that has been hot. San Francisco has scored four or more runs in 13 of its 16 games, and its 4.44 runs-per-game average is fifth-best in the NL.
"We've been having good at-bats offensively and putting up runs," said Schierholtz. "That's always been the story here. As long as we can put up four or more runs per game, our pitching staff is the best there is."
Sandoval's 17-game hit streak sets new mark
CINCINNATI -- Pablo Sandoval extended his season-opening hitting streak to 17 games with a single to right field in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's 9-2 loss at Cincinnati.
Sandoval's hit off of Reds reliever Sam LeCure snapped a tie with Willie Mays for the all-time San Francisco Giants record and leaves Sandoval one game behind Johnny Rucker's franchise streak of 18 games that began the New York Giants' 1945 season. Alvin Dark had also hit in 16 straight games to begin the 1954 season.
Sandoval scored ahead of Buster Posey when Posey hit a home run to right field to account for the Giants' only runs.
Sandoval was 0-for-2 going into the ninth despite hitting the ball well his first two times at the plate. He flew out to center in the first inning and then to left leading off the third inning. He worked a walk with a nine-pitch at-bat in the sixth inning after falling behind, 0-2.
Sandoval had four RBIs as part of a 3-for-9 day in a doubleheader against the Mets on Monday. He is now hitting .333 for the season, with a team-high 23 hits and 13 RBIs.
"We were happy for Pablo," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
Giants bristle at pitch behind Posey's knees
CINCINNATI -- San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy wasn't pleased to see Cincinnati reliever Sam LeCure throw behind Giants catcher Buster Posey in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's 9-2 loss by at Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati led, 9-0, at the time when LeCure threw a pitch that sailed behind the knees of Posey.
Posey answered by hitting a two-run homer off of LeCure for San Francisco's lone runs of the game.
Home-plate umpire Vic Carapazza warned both dugouts. Giants reliever Dan Otero had hit Reds All-Star first baseman Joey Votto in the seventh inning. Votto would later score as part of Cincinnati's six-run inning.
"We weren't trying to hit [Votto]," said Bochy. "It's not like somebody talked to him or something. [Otero] was scuffling out there. I'm sure he was nervous. That's how people get hurt. It's unfortunate, but we lost our guy [Posey] for a long time last year, and [he's] getting a ball thrown at his knee cap."
Posey didn't think much of the situation, or at least he didn't think much of it out loud.
"I don't know if it was on purpose or not, you'd have to ask him that," said Posey.
Lincecum gets first win, but work not done
CINCINNATI -- Tim Lincecum got his first win of the season in the first game of Monday's doubleheader at New York. He went five innings, striking out eight while allowing just one run on four hits in the 6-1 victory.
Lincecum was able to lower his ERA from a whopping 10.54 to 8.20, but after walking five on 108 pitches, he was not about to say his early-season struggles were over.
"I won and we won, which is better than losing," said Lincecum. "It's a fine line where guys can get tight and make a [lousy] pitch. It's about having that fine focus without stressing out about it. It's knowing what you need to do, and if you do it, the good result will happen. If your mind goes to the negative aspect of the situation you're in, then it's probably going to end up going that way."
The Mets had the bases loaded and one out with first baseman Ike Davis at the plate in the fifth inning with a chance to cut into the Giants' lead. Lincecum got Davis to hit a ground ball up the middle that second baseman Emmanuel Burriss made a stop on and flipped to shortstop Brandon Crawford for the turn and an inning-ending double play.
"It was a situation where I had to throw a strike, and I know he's scuffling, too," said Lincecum. "You know that situation and want to take advantage of it. I was fortunate enough to get a ground ball to the second baseman."
Left fielder Aubrey Huff was again out of the lineup and away from the team Tuesday, taking care of unidentified personal business. Manager Bruce Bochy said he had no immediate indication on when Huff might return but could know more after Tuesday's game against the Reds or on Wednesday.
University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari threw out the first pitch Tuesday as the Reds honored the national championship won by the Wildcats earlier this month. Lexington is less than 100 miles from Cincinnati.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford ended a hitless streak of 16 at-bats Monday with an infield single in the first game against the Mets. Crawford ended up going 3-for-8 in the doubleheader.
Kevin Goheen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.