Monday’s Spring Training exhibition between the Giants and the Athletics at AT&T Park was a tale of two games. The first, a competitive, nine-inning, low-scoring battle. The second, a one-inning thrashing that left Oakland with a 9-2 10-inning win.
San Francisco knotted things up with a run in the eighth, sending the “friendly” into extras tied 2-2. But that’s when Giants reliever D.J. Snelten had something of a meltdown giving up six runs without recording an out. José Valdéz managed to get the Giants out of the inning giving up only one more run, but by then the game was a farce. The seagulls had swarmed and the fans had dissipated.
The first five innings weren’t really a tryout for Derek Holland, as the Giants had already announced they were inserting him into the Jeff Samardzija hole in their rotation ahead of the first pitch, but his performance may well have stiffened their resolve.
Holland lasted 5 innings, allowing only two runs on four hits and he didn’t give up much hard contact. The hard contact he did give up came on a 1-1 changeup that Matt Chapman parked deep in the left field bleachers in the third, and a fifth-inning 1-1 sinker-that-didn’t-sink launched over the center field wall by Mark Canha.
The lefty struck out five A’s, three of them looking, and picked up a single batting in the third. Holland has only two regular season hits in his career, so perhaps this is a sign of a guy who really wants to fit in with the Orange and Black pitching staff.
The Giants offense struck early in the second inning when Buster Posey doubled down the right field line on a ball that went all the way into the corner, and he reached home two batters later on a Pence single to shallow left.
But San Francisco’s bats were familiarly stifled after the early offensive blip. The Giants did score again in the eight, but they had a helping hand from A’s reliever Blake Treinen and his two runner-advancing wild pitches. Treinen allowed an Andrew McCutchen double down the right field line then, after walking Nick Hundley, threw a wild pitch to Evan Longoria before striking him out. A second wild pitch, to Josh Rutledge who also struck out, resulting in one run-thrown-in.
The Giants and A’s complete their preseason schedules Tuesday when a pair of regular season locks, Andrew Triggs for Oakland and Chris Stratton for San Francisco, square off at AT&T Park. Both team still feature some roster openings, so Tuesday will serve as the final audition for those in the hunt.