SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Oakland youngster Sean Manaea pitched four perfect innings during a scoreless duel with Johnny Cueto before the San Francisco Giants beat the Athletics 3-0 in the preseason Bay Bridge Series opener Thursday night.
Brandon Crawford’s seventh-inning single put San Francisco ahead.
Manaea struck out two, throwing 31 of 43 pitches for strikes, and was thrilled with his spring finale after striving for consistency from Day One when pitchers and catchers arrived in Arizona.
Bring on Mike Trout and the big hitters next week. The 25-year-old Manaea can’t wait for the next challenge in beginning his first full major league season.
“Today was a good indicator of where I am mentally and physically,” said Manaea, the team’s No. 2 starter. “I’m really happy with how tonight went. It’s a really nice outing to end spring training with.”
Cueto, an 18-game winner in his first season with San Francisco a year ago, allowed six hits and struck out two in five scoreless innings.
He was relaxed and in rhythm while throwing all his pitches, sporting that big grin back in his home ballpark, and even picked off last season’s AL stolen base leader, Rajai Davis.
“He runs fast. It feels good when you get him out,” Cueto said. “It didn’t feel like a spring training game. It felt like a regular-season game.”
John Axford relieved Manaea in the fifth.
The Giants got four straight hits against Liam Hendriks in the seventh, when Eduardo Nunez singled in a run and Joe Panik hit a sacrifice fly. New closer Mark Melancon finished with a 1-2-3 ninth.
San Francisco won for just the seventh time in its last 26 spring training games against the A’s, who have won nine straight meetings in Arizona – two this year.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has moved lockers to the opposite corner of the clubhouse. He says he made the switch to check out new scenery.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt figured he would catch up with Santiago Casilla in the clubhouse, but then it dawned on him: The right-handed reliever is now with the A’s after seven seasons with San Francisco.
Belt asked him to throw a fastball.
Casilla responded by asking Belt to make sure if he hit it, not to clear the fence or reach McCovey Cove.
“Just a base hit,” Casilla cracked.
Casilla helped the Giants win three World Series titles – in 2010, ’12 and ’14. His glove is still black with orange stitching, but that will be fixed soon.
Casilla was shown on the big screen in the middle of the second with his name and “Forever Giant.” He smiled and tipped his green cap.
“It’s a little hard,” he said. “I’ve known these guys a lot of years and we’ve played together and won three World Series.”
Athletics: 3B Trevor Plouffe and OF Khris Davis, both nursing quad injuries, could be back in the lineup this weekend. … RHP Sonny Gray, shut down earlier this month with a lat strain, was set to play catch from out to 120 feet. Manager Bob Melvin wasn’t sure what day Gray will throw off a mound, but not until then will the A’s have a better idea about the pitcher’s status and possible return.
Giants: 3B coach Jose Alguacil, struck in the face by a foul ball March 4 and airlifted to a hospital for surgery to repair a fractured nose and a deep facial laceration, said he has been fortunate not to need painkillers or experience any headaches. “I never had any pain,” he said. “I was going crazy for three weeks. I couldn’t do anything. No painkillers, no headaches. I was lucky.” … LHP Will Smith underwent Tommy John surgery Tuesday, performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. Smith is back in Arizona resting.
ROLLINS THE ODD MAN OUT
Giants general manager Bobby Evans informed INF Jimmy Rollins he won’t make the team out of spring training and is waiting to hear back from him or his representatives about what options might be next. The 2007 NL MVP wasn’t at the ballpark. The 38-year-old Rollins, who hoped to play at home in his native Bay Area for the first time after 17 major league seasons, was batting .119 (5 for 42) with eight strikeouts in 17 Cactus League games.
The teams resume their series with another game at AT&T Park, featuring RHP Jeff Samardzija on the mound for San Francisco against RHP Jharel Cotton before the finale Saturday afternoon shifts to the Oakland Coliseum.
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