Casilla injures right knee in Bumgarner's victory

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Casilla injures right knee in Bumgarner's victory

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SAN FRANCISCO Giants closer Santiago Casilla, who isputting up All-Star caliber numbers as the replacement for Brian Wilson, leftFriday nights game in the ninth inning after injuring his right knee.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he did not know the severityof Casillas injury, which occurred as he planted while trying to make a playon an infield single in the Giants eventual 4-3 victory.
RECAP: Baggs' Instant Replay -- Giants 4, Cubs 3

But left-hander Madison Bumgarner spoke with Casilla and didnot get an indication that the injury was significant.

I think hes OK, Bumgarner said. Hopefully hell be fine.He thinks so.

Other relievers told me that they thought Casilla justcramped up. Hell be reevaluated and Bochy said he would have more informationprior to Saturdays game.

The ninth inning was painful enough for the Giants, who nearlyblew a 4-0 lead. Bochy was booed loudly upon removing Bumgarner followingback-to-back hits to start the ninth inning, even though the left-hander hadthrown just 102 pitches (and struck out a season-high 11 batters).

Casilla was wild before giving up a three-run homer toAlfonso Soriano. He allowed two of the next three batters to reach, too. BryanLaHair hit a one-out double and Darwin Barney hit a dribbler that Casilla triedto field on the third-base side of the mound.

Javier Lopez saved everyones day by retiring two hitters ona ground out and fly out.

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Why did Bochy not stick with Bumgarner, who appeared to haveplenty of pitches remaining to go for the first complete game of his career?

"Once the first two got on, I wasnt going to let him grindthrough that, said Bochy, who had Casilla warming up from the beginning of theninth. We had our closer ready. Madison gave up a couple hits and they hadsome right-handed hitters coming up. He did his job. Once you get your closerup, you use him."

Left unsaid: Bochy let Bumgarner try to work out of a late-inning jam at Milwaukee on the last road trip, and Ryan Braun took him deep.

(Bumgarner) was going to have to work hard to get out ofit," Bochy said. I was looking to protect him there.

Bumgarner tried to talk his way into staying, catcher BusterPosey said.

Its not just me, Bumgarner said. Everybody here wants tostay out there and throw 200 pitches, if theyd let us.

Bumgarner has struck out 28 batters over his last threestarts and said he isnt trying to pile up the K cards against the bricks. Butwith two strikes, he admitted hell get into ticket-punching mode.

I just try to keep making pitches and it happens that way,he said.

Posey said Bumgarner established his fastball and cutterearly, then flipped in curveballs when he needed to. He stopped a streak ofthree consecutive losing decisions.

It was the first time in his career that Bumgarner (6-4) struckout double-digits without issuing a walk.

Giants use big fifth, sixth innings to take down Cubs

Giants use big fifth, sixth innings to take down Cubs

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At Scottsdale, Arizona, Giants starter Matt Cain gave up two runs — one earned — and three hits over two innings.

New Giants closer Mark Melancon tossed a 1-2-3 third inning in his first outing. Cain threw 40 pitches and Justin Ruggiano had an RBI double in a three-run fifth.

Javier Baez went 2 for 3 with an RBI double.

Giants spring training Day 13: Cain goes two; Melancon has perfect debut

Giants spring training Day 13: Cain goes two; Melancon has perfect debut

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bruce Bochy planned to give most of his pitchers one-inning stints during the first weekend of spring ball, but Matt Cain stretched it out to 40 pitches on Saturday. 

“I’ve had enough days off the past couple of years,” Cain said, smiling.

In his first start of a crucial spring, Cain threw two innings. He was charged with three hits and two runs, just one of them earned. 

“He’s in a good place right now with his arm strength,” Bochy said. “His delivery is consistent. I’m glad he got a lot of work today, to be honest. It’s something he needs as much as anybody on this staff, is work. He’s going to get it.”

Ty Blach, Cain’s biggest competition for the fifth starter spot, gave up four hits and one earned in his two innings. Neither pitcher was hit particularly hard, and both suffered a bit from iffy defense in the early innings of an 8-6 win over the Cubs. 

The inning separating Cain and Blach was notable for other reasons. Mark Melancon made his Giants debut, getting two groundouts and a fly to right in a quick inning. Melancon received a nice ovation, and he noted the opponent — a Cubs team that helped guarantee the Giants would spend big on a closer — but he didn’t put any added importance on the outing. 

“It doesn’t matter what I do out there right now,” he said. 

Melancon’s new teammates might disagree. Spring or not, the Giants certainly enjoyed watching a closer breeze through his inning. Especially against the Cubs. 

“He’s a pro,” Bochy said. “He’s going to be out there working on stuff, his command and pitches. It was good for Buster (Posey) to catch him. It was a good day for him.”

NOTABLE: On his first swing of the spring, Posey threw his bat up against the visiting dugout. It can only go uphill from there … Bryan Morris had a scoreless debut, striking out one … Josh Osich ran into some trouble in the eighth and gave up a pair of runs, but Bochy appreciated the way he fought his way out of the frame … Former Giants prospect Chris Dominguez started for the Cubs at first base. He had a couple of hits ... If you're headed to Goodyear for tomorrow's game, Joe Panik, Brandon Belt, Conor Gillaspie, Jimmy Rollins, Mac Williamson, Jarrett Parker, Gorkys Hernandez and Trevor Brown will start behind Matt Moore. Also, if you're headed to Goodyear, I'm sorry. 

TRAINER’S ROOM: Eduardo Nuñez is limited to DH duty for now because of a sore throwing shoulder. Nuñez said the tightness popped up after some work in the weight room, but he’s not concerned at all. He said he would have played third base if Saturday’s game was a regular season contest. The Giants expect him in the field sometime next week. 

Nuñez also said it took five weeks after the season ended for his hamstring to get back to 100 percent, so apparently that injury was much worse than it first looked. Nuñez was out on the field before every NLDS game, trying to get clearance to return. He never quite got there. 

Will Smith (elbow) is just a day or two from throwing off flat ground, Bochy said. 

CUETO UPDATE: The Giants had hoped to have Johnny Cueto in camp this weekend, but he remains in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. Cueto is waiting for a visa for his ill father, Domingo, who will travel to Scottsdale with Johnny. 

LIGHTER SIDE: Brandon Crawford spent a couple of minutes learning some of Jeff Samardzija’s mound moves. The impersonation is pretty solid.