High & Inside

Posted: June 25, 2009

King of the West

There's something special about watching a 175-pounder who looks fresh out of middle school dominate a game from the pitcher's mound.

That would be San Francisco righthander Tim Lincecum, whose popularity among Giants fans is soaring as he continues to have his way with the club's key rivals - the Dodgers and Athletics.

On Tuesday night Lincecum hurled his second complete-game win over the A's this season. In four career starts against the Bay Area rival, Lincecum is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA. Against the Dodgers, he is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA.

After the 4-1 win at Oakland, Lincecum said beating the A's was no different from beating any other team, but he noticed how the rivalry played out among the paying customers.

"You see wrestling going on in the stands," he said after striking out 12 A's. "You hear bad things being said here and there."

Lincecum is in contention to win his second consecutive Cy Young Award. He is 7-2 with a 2.57 ERA.

Manny gets some love

Wearing his familiar No. 99 for the triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, Manny Ramirez returned to baseball Tuesday night in his first minor-league rehabilitation assignment.

He went hitless in two at-bats for the Dodgers' affiliate, but that didn't take away from the love he said he felt from the sellout crowd of 15,321, the largest in the club's history.

"People love me everywhere I go," Ramirez said. "I'm excited to bring a lot of joy to a lot of people here. I feel good. I'm happy that I'm here."

As Ramirez approached the plate for his first at-bat, scattered boos quickly were drowned out by cheers. Ramirez will be eligible to return to the Dodgers on July 3, when his 50-game suspension for use of a banned substance ends.

Noteworthy

President Obama will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the July 14 All-Star Game in St. Louis. Only three other presidents have done so - John F. Kennedy (1962), Richard Nixon (1970), and Gerald Ford (1976). The first president to attend an All-Star Game was Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937. . . . On July 12, Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith and St. Louis third-base coach Jose Oquendo will serve as managers for the All-Star Futures Game featuring top minor-leaguers. . . . Arizona catcher Chris Snyder was placed on the 15-day DL with a back strain. . . . The Marlins placed closer Matt Lindstrom on the 15-day DL yesterday with a sprained right elbow, one day after he blew a three-run lead. . . . Slugger Gary Sheffield was given a cortisone shot behind his right knee and was out of the Mets' lineup last night for the third consecutive game. He said he had fluid in the bursa sac in the knee. . . . Washington reliever Kip Wells was designated for assignment and Tyler Clippard was promoted from triple-A Syracuse.

Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or rparrillo@phillynews.com.

This article contains information from the Associated Press.

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