Giants get two wins Saturday and head for home
Wins and losses in spring training don’t matter. But the Giants really needed to get one win before leaving Arizona.
Well, they got two. Both on Saturday.
The Giants left Arizona with a 20-12 record after posting wins over the Reds and Indians on Saturday.
The news wasn’t all good Saturday. Tim Lincecum, making his final spring start, got smacked around pretty good by the Reds.
“I just started missing spots and pitches got up, and I wasn’t getting ahead of many batters,” Lincecum said. “My arm feels ready. It would be nice to get to some games that actually matter.”
We guess that’s the good news. Lincecum is healthy and ready for the season. We just wish he went into the regular season on a stronger note.
Lincecum gave up six runs on 11 hits in five innings. The big hits were wind-blown home runs by Juan Francisco in the second and a three-run homer by ex-Giant Fred Lewis.
On the bright side, the Giants hitters who had largely struggled in the past week got going Saturday.
Andres Torres was 3 for 4 with two doubles and four RBI. Two of those hits were right-handed, which was huge. The oblique injury Torres suffered early in the spring limited his right-handed at-bats and he had struggled since then. So Saturday’s performance was a good sign.
Freddy Sanchez was 2 for 3 before leaving the game after being kicked in the head trying to break up a double play. He was said to be OK, which was good news.
Buster Posey walked three times. Pablo Sandoval was 1 for 3, so was Pat Burrell and Mark DeRosa. Miguel Tejada’s bat continued a strong finish to the spring, going 2 for 4 with two runs.
The Giants scored six runs in the sixth, five coming off Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman.
Also good news is four scoreless innings by the Giants bullpen. Four pitchers — Shane Loux, Guillermo Mota, Jeremy Affeldt and Steve Edlefsen combined to give up just one hit and one walk.
In the Saturday evening game, the Indians announcers were belly-aching about how the fans in Goodyear were being cheated because the Giants sent out a Triple-A lineup. Then that Triple-A lineup pounded out eight runs on 13 hits in an 8-5 win.
Mike Fontenot, Brandon Crawford and Eli Whiteside were all 2 for 5. Brandon Belt was 2 for 4, including a three-run home run. Nate Schierholtz was 2 for 4 and Roger Kieschnick was 2 for 3 with a home run.
On Sunday, the Giants capped their Arizona schedule with a 7-4 loss to the Royals. Jonathan Sanchez suffered his first spring loss. He gave up five runs, four earned, on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. The good news is that he only walked one, a four-pitch walk to Kila Kaaihue that would come back to bite Sanchez.
In the fourth, Sanchez gave up a double to Melky Cabrera, who scored on a single by Billy Butler. After the walk to Ka’aihue, Sanchez got Alex Gordon to pop out and Jeff Francoeur to strike out. Sanchez was one strike from ending the inning against Wilson Betemit, who then smacked a three-run homer for a four-run inning.
The Giants again ran out a lineup devoid of regular starters.
Expect the regular to be in the lineup Monday when the Giants return to San Francisco to open a three-game series against the A’s.