MESA, Ariz. (CBS / AP) — Eric Surkamp made another pitch to become part of San Francisco’s rotation.
A long shot to claim a spot, Surkamp threw four effective innings as the Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Friday.
Surkamp went 2-2 in six starts for San Francisco as a rookie last season. He gave up one run and four hits, striking out four.
“I’m happy with how I did,” said Surkamp, nicked only by Anthony Rizzo’s home run. “My arm speed is coming back a little bit. I ran into a little dead arm early in spring training. But I’m starting to feel better.”
Surkamp’s chances to make the rotation rest on whether the Giants start somebody on the disabled list.
“Eric threw well,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It seems like he’s developing more and more confidence each time he gets out there.”
For the Cubs, Matt Garza chopped into his sky-high spring ERA by allowing two runs and three hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out three.
“I pulled out all my stuff today,” said Garza, hoping to be the opening day starter for the Cubs. “That makes it a lot easier when I need a weapon besides a fastball and a changeup.”
“I’m happy we made progress but I’m still not done,” he said. “I’ve done this the last seven years. Six actually—it took one year to figure it out. I getting my ready at my pace. I know my body.”
Garza carried a 16.20 ERA into the game. He sailed through the first three innings before giving up two runs in the fourth.
“When April 5th comes, I’ll be ready to go. It’s one step at a time to get everything right, get everything in sync. The hardest thing about this game is getting back into the rhythm,” he said.
Rizzo’s homer was his second of the spring. Catcher Blake Lalli, a non-roster invitee, also hit a solo homer for the Cubs.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum has been preaching aggressive baserunning. But in this game, the approach backfired in the ninth inning.
With the Cubs trailing 3-2, Joe Mather singled but was then thrown out trying to go form first to third on Brett Jackson’s sacrifice bunt.
For the Giants, Buster Posey went 1 for 2. He is scheduled to serve as the DH in a minor league game, then take a few days off, Bochy said.
The Cubs will play a split-squad set Saturday, with one game against the Athletics at Phoenix and the other being the first of two against the Texas Rangers in Las Vegas.
“It breaks up spring training,” Sveum said of the Vegas trip. “I don’t know if it’s a reward. You’re still playing. You don’t get to enjoy Vegas, though I’m sure somebody will.”
NOTES: The game drew a packed crowd of 13,245…The Cubs picked up RHP Frankie de la Cruz off waivers from Milwaukee. … Sveum likes what he sees from pitcher Lendy Castillo, a right-hander obtained in the Rule 5 draft. “He’s obviously doing well,” Sveum said of Castillo, who has given up one run in five innings. “He’s been able to throw strikes, his stuff is there. His poise on the mound. … and his athleticism and competitiveness has been far and above the Rule 5 guys I’ve been around.”
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