SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (CBS / AP) — San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy saw something very positive this spring training—few injuries for the World Series champions.
“It looks like we’re coming out of it pretty good,” Bochy said Tuesday after a 4-2 victory over San Diego in the Giants’ final home game of the spring at Scottsdale Stadium.
The Giants will wrap up the Arizona portion of their schedule on Wednesday by playing at the Diamondbacks before returning home for a three-game Bay Bridge exhibition series with the Oakland Athletics.
The only injury concern for Bochy at this point appears to be the status of third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who has been sidelined with inflammation of a nerve in his right elbow. Bochy said he is hopeful that the World Series MVP will be ready for opening day on April 1 against Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium.
Two of Bochy’s top hitters this spring delivered once again. Hunter Pence hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the fifth inning and is hitting .361.
Brandon Belt, who started in left field and finished at his regular first base spot, had three hits to raise his average to .453 after sitting out two games with a mild neck strain.
And perhaps the best news for the Giants came from one of the side fields, where opening day starter Matt Cain pitched a simulated game against minor leaguers in order to avoid the NL West Padres. The right-hander pitched six innings and threw 93 pitches.
Marco Scutaro came up with a rare play, taking an extra base after a walk. The MVP of last year’s NL championship series drew a two-out walk in the third inning, sprinted to first, then kept going and stole second.
“You don’t get that opportunity very often,” said Scutaro, who also accomplished the feat in 2002 and 2009. “I don’t know how many years it’s going to take me now (to do it again).”
Pence’s double came off San Diego starter Andrew Cashner.
Cashner, a right-hander who is battling for the fifth spot in manager Bud Black’s rotation, had a solid effort. He gave up two runs on three hits, walked two and struck out four in four innings.
“I thought I threw the ball well,” said Cashner, who threw 72 pitches.
Cashner said he has not had much luck throwing breaking balls in the desert air, but those types of pitches worked better against the Giants.
“I mixed curveballs and sliders. It was one of my best outings as far as pitch execution goes,” he said.
Carlos Quentin made his first start of the spring in left field for the Padres after dealing with soreness in his right knee in the aftermath of offseason surgery. He said he felt good and hopes to continue to make progress toward the April 1 opener against the Mets in New York.
Logan Forsythe, expected to play third while Padres star Chase Headley heals from a fractured thumb, has had health issues of his own—plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He played three innings on Tuesday.
NOTES: INF Brock Bond was chosen as the Giants’ Harry S. Jordan Award recipient. The honor goes to the minor leaguer in his first big league camp who exemplifies the team’s spirit. … Padres 1B Yadier Alonso had scraped knuckles when hit by the ball on a swing in the seventh inning. He was ruled out on batter’s interference and Giants C Guillermo Quiroz was nicked.
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