Misch struggles as Giants fall to A's
Starter surrenders eight first-inning runs in brief outing
A'S (SS) 10, GIANTS (SS) 2
at Phoenix Municipal Stadium
Saturday, March 15
A's at the plate: Non-roster outfielder Todd Linden, who spent the first five full years of his pro career in the Giants organization and entered the game batting .526 (10-for-19) this spring, banged out four hits to lead an Oakland attack that went to work early. Second baseman Mark Ellis went 2-for-2 in the first inning alone as part of an eight-run frame, which included catcher Kurt Suzuki's two-run double, an RBI double by Linden and a two-run single by shortstop Bobby Crosby. The rout continued when outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who had singled in a run in the first inning, doubled home Suzuki, who led off the second with a single. Linden followed with an RBI single -- Oakland's 11th hit of the game -- to make it 10-1.
Giants on the mound: Lefty Pat Misch, who brought a 3.68 ERA over 7 1/3 innings of Cactus League work into his second start of the spring, didn't get out of the first inning. He allowed eight earned runs on five hits -- including two long doubles -- and three walks, getting pulled with one out after his third walk.
A's on the mound: Opening Day starter Joe Blanton threw 91 pitches over seven innings in an intrasquad game Friday at Minor League camp, so Saturday's start went to Henry Rodriguez, a 21-year-old who has wowed the Oakland staff with radar readings up to 100 mph in his first three Cactus League outings. After allowing a run on a hit and three walks and a wild pitch in the first inning, Rodriguez retired three of the four batters he faced in a shutout second before the bullpen took over and got some immediate help when left fielder Jeff Fiorentino, playing behind righty Andrew Brown, made a diving catch to rob Lewis to open the third inning.
Cactus League records: Giants 5-12-2; A's 13-5Up next for the Giants: San Francisco has split-squad games for the second day in a row on Sunday. They'll entertain the Los Angeles Angels in Scottsdale, with Giants righty Matt Cain opposing Jered Weaver, and visit Kansas City in Surprise, where non-roster right-hander Victor Santos will face the Royals' Zack Greinke.
Up next for the A's: Lefty Gio Gonzalez, one of the prospects acquired in the trade that sent Nick Swisher to the White Sox, will make his second Cactus League start of the spring on Sunday when Oakland hosts the Rangers, who are scheduled to start righty Sidney Ponson in a 1:05 p.m. PT game at Phoenix Muni. Gonzalez has appeared in three games thus far, allowing two runs on seven hits over nine innings while walking four and striking out six.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.