Every season-opening series is overhyped. Toss in the defending World Series champs facing a $230 million team and you have a full-blown extravaganza, with Tim Lincecum's debut adding another layer of buzz.

Now that it's done, and the hype machine is unplugged, the faithful can see it for what it was: three division games between two teams that are supposed to make noise in 2013.

Since the modest objective is winning series, score one for the Giants. They did not play super baseball but won 5-3 Wednesday night and took two out of three, a satisfying way to go home for Friday's championship-banner raising.

Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence hit the Giants' first two home runs of the season, off Josh Beckett in support of Lincecum, who wobbled through five innings but stayed upright long enough to start 1-0 for the first time since 2010.

"It's meaningless," Pence said of the series win. "We have a long way to go and these are two great teams with really good pitching. A major-league season is a lot more than the first series."

For a divergent viewpoint, here is Lincecum, who has been through the Dodgers-Giants maelstrom a lot longer:

"It's really satisfying for us," Lincecum said. "Obviously we wanted to come in here and make a statement in our first series after winning the World Series. A lot of guys were looking forward to this series. I know I was personally."

Lincecum provided no definitive answer to the big questions surrounding him: He pitched horridly enough to match his career high with seven walks but well enough to hold the Dodgers to three hits and two unearned runs.

He qualified for a win only after manager Bruce Bochy walked to the mound with two outs in the fifth to make sure he was OK. Leading 4-2 but with the potential tying runs on board, Lincecum got A.J. Ellis to fly out, increasing the number of stranded Dodgers runners to nine.

With that, Giants starters completed the series without allowing an earned run over 19 innings.

Bochy said Lincecum "battled and competed. He showed he's got the ability to keep his poise and make pitches when he has to and not have things go awry, which sometimes happened last year. That was a good sign."