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Giants fall short to A’s in rainy return to Oracle Park

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The Giants and A’s played game two of the Bay Bridge exhibition series Monday night despite an afternoon drizzle that dragged into an 85-minute rain delay.

The contest went to Oakland with a 5-4 victory over a sleepy San Francisco squad that took six innings to come to life before a brief seventh-inning burst of offense proved insufficient.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants clubhouse at Oracle Park.

With wet weather on the horizon, the Giants opted to start youngster Shaun Anderson (L, 0-1, 1.69 ERA) in lieu of Drew Pomeranz to face A’s right-hander Liam Hendriks (W, 2-0, 1.35 ERA), and once past some first-inning jitters, Anderson had an admirable outing. 

Manager Bruce Bochy was glad for the opportunity to get a look at Anderson in the pre-season series, and he said he has high expectations for the pitching prospect:

“He is one of our guys that we look at down in Sacramento as a guy that can help us at any point. He’s gonna be a starter in the major leagues. He’s got the pitches that will work up here and he gives us depth.”

The 24-year-old righty came out with heat in the 94-95 mph range, but was struggling to locate. He allowed a walk, two singles and a run on 31 pitches in the opening frame. But he coaxed a Jurickson Profar groundout to end the inning on an 86-mph changeup, his first of the game. It was a turning point for Anderson.

Bochy said Monday night’s outing was a valuable experience for Anderson, who the skipper said the Giants will look to in the event of injuries to the big league rotation in 2019:

“He’s got that good movement, nice, natural movement, and he has a lot of life on his pitches. I thought he handled himself well. He gave up that first run but after that, he threw the ball very well.”

The young right-hander mixed in more changeups and sliders in his two innings that followed, sacrificing a bit of speed for location on his fastballs, and it paid off. He had three-up, three-down second and third innings before Bochy sent out Tony Watson to get his reps in the fourth. 

Giants relievers Watson, Will Smith and Reyes Moronta had scheduled outings in the exhibition that went smoothly. But things fell apart for Ty Blach in the seventh, as he allowed three doubles, a single and a walk before recording an out. 

Michael Reed finally notched the first out of the seventh, catching a fly ball off the bat of Cliff Pennington in right field. Reed fired a strike to third to cut down Mark Canha trying to advance from second, and it looked as though the tide had turned for the home team.

About Reed’s putout, Bochy said:

” On a tough night to throw, it was right on the money.”

But Blach went on to commit back-to-back throwing errors before Bochy had seen enough, handing the ball to Carlos Navas to get the Giants off the field.  

Giants runners were stranded in scoring position in five of nine innings, and between Sunday’s series opener and Monday’s rainy game-two, San Francisco endured a 15-inning scoreless streak before scratching four runs across in the seventh.

A’s reliever Ryan Buchter gave up walks to Reed and Connor Joe, and allowed a single to catcher Tom Murphy — claimed off waivers from Colorado Monday morning — to load the bases. Steven Duggar rose to the occasion, swatting a single up the middle to finally get the Giants on the board.

Rookie Abiatal Avelino, a prospect the Giants got back in the Andrew McCutchen deal last August, drew a walk to keep the line moving and plate another run. And yet another backup catcher acquired over the course of the Bay Bridge series, Erik Kratz, slapped a single into center field to bring the Giants within a run.

The newcomers kept the excitement going in the bottom of the eighth inning. Pinder tried to stretch a single to Henry Ramos in left field into a double but Ramos cut him down decisively with a rocket to Avelino at second.

Up Next

First pitch for the rubber match of the Bay Bridge exhibition series will be 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, with Jeff Samardzija taking on Aaron Brooks at Oracle Park. 

Notes

Aramís Garcia was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento ahead of Monday’s contest. …The Giants announced shortly after the final out Monday night that they traded right-handed starting pitcher Chris Stratton to the Angels in exchange for the 26-year-old southpaw reliever Willliams Jerez . Andy Suárez was optioned to the minor leagues.


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