Giants split squads: beat Reds, lose to D-Backs

March 11, 2017

MLB, San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey hits during a spring training baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Sunday, March 5, 2017, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

By DANIEL DULLUM
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, March 11, 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey are already representing Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Will there be a couple more Giants joining them?

MLB.com reported that right-hander Jeff Samardzija and new closer Mark Melancon received invites on Thursday to be alternates for Team USA. It’s anticipated that Melancon could join Team USA for the second round in mid-March at San Diego.

In Samardzija’s case, it’s likely he won’t be needed until the semifinal round on March 20 in Los Angeles. For now, the possibility of Melancon and Samardzija joining Team USA hinges on two things – the national team activating them, combined with permission from the Giants.

Melancon, the former Pittsburgh closer who signed a four-year, $62 million free-agent contract with San Francisco in the off-season, was originally a Team USA selection for the WBC. But at that time, Melancon wasn’t sure of his 2017 playing status, so he declined.

Both Samardzija and Melancon said they’re willing to overlook the injury risk factor and participate in the WBC.

“Anytime you get to play any sport in high-level competition, especially to represent your country, it’s a pretty cool thing,” Samardzija said. “Especially for baseball, because it’s not offered at any other time.”

The only other Giant headed the WBC is right-hander Johnny Cueto, who could join Team Dominican Republic in the second round.

On Friday, Crawford and Posey were in the lineup for Team USA’s 10-inning come-from-behind win over Colombia. Crawford drew a walk in USA’s 10th-inning rally.

SPLIT SQUAD GAME VS. REDS
A two-run homer by Conor Gillaspie in the seventh inning helped give the split-squad Giants a 9-7 come-from-behind win over Cincinnati.

Michael Morse homered in the second and fourth innings – his first and second round-trippers of the spring – driving in three runs. Jae-gyun Hwang also homered for San Francisco in the second inning. Aaron Hill and Nick Hundley each hit a double, contributing to the Giants’ 14-hit effort.

Johnny Cueto threw the first two innings for San Francisco, giving up one earned run on three hits with a strikeout and no walks. Matt Cain threw the third, fourth and fifth innings and didn’t fare so well. Cain was tagged for five runs – all earned – on six hits and a wild pitch.

Right-hander Chris Stratton (1-0) worked a scoreless seventh and picked up the win. George Kontos gave up a ninth-inning home run to T.J. Friedl, but also struck out the side to earn his first save of the Cactus League season.

An announced crowd of 10,093 enjoyed the 84-degrees, slight breeze and sunshine at Scottsdale Stadium.

SPLIT SQUAD VS. D-BACKS
The Giants also sent a squad over to nearby Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, where they lost 5-1 to Arizona. Gorkys Hernandez drove in the only San Francisco run.

Left-hander Tyson Blach (0-1) gave up a run-scoring single to Brandon Drury and an RBI triple to Jake Lamb in the first inning.

Saturday’s results give the Giants a 6-10 Cactus League record.

UP NEXT
The Giants host Arizona Sunday, travel to Surprise to play Texas on Monday and to Goodyear to meet Cleveland on Tuesday.

At 2 a.m. Sunday morning, Arizona, which does not participate in Daylight Savings Time, rejoins the Pacific Time Zone.

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