EXTRAS: Cain mum on contract, Sanchez a confident catcher

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EXTRAS: Cain mum on contract, Sanchez a confident catcher

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Cain allowed two runs on five hitsin 3.2 innings against the Cleveland Indians Wednesday, and most of thequestions he took in the clubhouse were about his outing.One bold reporter, however, asked Cain about ongoingcontract negotiations on a long-term extension.No updates, Cain said. Good try thought. Puntpunt onedown there real quick.Cains next contract remains a mystery, but the big right-hander is stillfocused on the task at hand: working on all his pitches in preparation for theregular season.I started throwing a couple more sliders today but we didnt get too far intothose, Cain said. Were still kind of on fastball command and working on thecurveball and the changeup, but the slider is going to start falling into playmore.RELATED: Posey's first spring hit an oppostie field home run
Giants manager Bruce Bochy liked what he saw from Cain, who struck out four andwalked one, even though he couldnt finish the fourth inning after throwing 71pitches, 48 for strikes.I thought Matt threw the ball well, Bochy said. He got his work in and hejust got to his pitch limit, which is why I went out there and got him. But hehad good stuff and he only gave up that one run. The other run was that wildpitch so I thought he did a real nice job.--The wild pitch Bochy referred to was one thrown by Mitch Lively, who came in tofinish the fourth in place of Cain. Livelys pitch slipped through HectorSanchezs legs, allowing one of Cains baserunners to score.Bochy said after the game that Sanchez normally makes that play and that hesbeen impressed so far this spring with his young catcher.Hes comfortable catching these guys and calling the game, Bochy said. Kidsgot a lot of confidence. He can hit and he can catch and throw. Its just amatter of getting some time up here to where he does feel like he belongs andhe carries himself like that. I thought he did a good job with Matt today.Cain also praised Sanchez after his start, saying that hes made strides sincehis call-up last season.I dont know if he was timid to call certain pitches hereand there but I think now hes got the confidence to take some chances onpitches in or throwing chageups behind in the count, Cain said. I think hesgot that confidence because he relays that confidence from the pitching staff,the way that all the guys arent afraid to throw any pitch really in anycount.Sanchez didnt just call a good game Wednesday, he also went1-for-2 to raise his spring average to .444.With Chris Stewart and Eli Whiteside, his competition forthe backup catcher job, both out of minor league options, Sanchez seems likethe odd man out for a roster spot. But if he keeps hitting, he will make thedecision hard on Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean.

--Another player that looks to cause headaches for Bochy andSabean is Gregor Blanco, who continued his hot spring by going 1-for-3 with awalk and a run scored out of the leadoff spot Wednesday.RELATED: Vogelsong tests back with 45-pitch bullpen session
Blanco is now batting an even .500 in the Cactus League and continues to showcasehis amazing speed.In the first inning, Blanco went from first to third on a ball that never leftthe infield. Bochy took notice.He goes first to third on a dribbler because he has theability to make things happen, Bochy said. He knows how to play the game,too. Hes a smart player.Bochy also praised Sabean for bringing in Blanco as a non-roster invitee.Great signing, he said. Were excited to have him. Hes aguy thats going to go down to the wire, we know, but hes certainly intriguingthe way hes been playing.--Brian Wilson made his second appearance of the spring and worked a perfectfifth inning. Motion feels good, Wilson said. Another pain-freeouting.

After hitting 93-94 MPH in his first outing on Sunday, Wilson hit 95-96 againstthe Indians. Wilson said he isnt even trying to ramp up his velocityjust yet.I think I should stay low 90s as of right now if I can andjust progressively work towards Opening Day to max out then and try and sustainthat for the rest of the season, he said.Bochy said that Wilson was throwing his breaking ball andhis cutter and that hes ready.Wilsons next test will come on March 17, St. Patricks Day.

Former Giants top prospect earns first career MLB win with Twins

Former Giants top prospect earns first career MLB win with Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Adalberto Mejia made the most of his brief stint back in the majors with the Minnesota Twins by getting his first big-league win.

Robbie Grossman, Max Kepler and Chris Gimenez all homered to help Mejia and the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 8-4 in the second game Sunday to salvage a split of a doubleheader.

Mejia (1-1) was the Twins' 26th active player for the second game and allowed three runs in seven innings, on two home runs by Salvador Perez - who also went deep in the first game.

Mejia's reward for his first win? A trip back to Triple-A Rochester.

"I'm going to go down there and work on the things they told me work on," Mejia said through interpreter Carlos Font. "Then it will be up to them to see when I get back."

Grossman and Kepler each hit two-run homers in the first inning, and Brian Dozier had an RBI double in the second off Ian Kennedy (0-4) in his first game back from the disabled list.

Brandon Moss hit two of Kansas City's four home runs in the opener of the doubleheader, and Perez and Jorge Bonifacio each hit two-run homers to lead the Royals to a 6-4 win earlier in the day.

With the split, the Twins are now 7-1 on the year against the Royals. Kansas City's win in the first game snapped a seven-game losing streak against Minnesota.

Kennedy, who returned after missing time with a hamstring strain, said he felt fine physically. He walked three batters and gave up a pair of two-run homers in just two innings Sunday.

"He was way out of whack," manager Ned Yost said. "His leg was fine. He felt normal, felt good. Just timing was off, rhythm was off."

MINOR'S WIN

Mike Minor's road back to the majors was not an easy one. Shoulder surgery kept him out of the majors for two years and resulted in a move to the bullpen.

Minor got his first victory since 2014 with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in the first game Sunday. He relieved Jake Junis with a 5-2 lead in the fifth, two outs and two on. The 29-year-old left-hander walked Max Kepler, then retired Kennys Vargas on a popup. Minor retired the side in order in the sixth.

Minor had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder in May 13, 2015, and did not appear in the major leagues in 2015 and 2016. Minor, who signed a $7.25 million, two-year contract with the Royals in February 2016, got his first major league victory since Aug. 28, 2014, for Atlanta.

JUNIS' FIRST START

Kansas City's Jake Junis, a 24-year-old right-hander, was recalled from Triple-A Omaha and made his first big league start after a pair of relief appearances. He allowed two runs, five hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings, leaving after RBI singles from Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano.

Junis found out Saturday that he would be making his first career start. He didn't pitch deep enough to get the win, but impressed manager Ned Yost before the Royals optioned Junis back to Omaha after the game.

"I thought he did a nice job," Yost said. "We tried to get him through that fifth inning, but we needed to win this game."

ROYALS MOVES

Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon missed the second game to join his wife, who is due to give birth on Monday. Infielder Raul Mondesi replacing Gordon on the roster but was optioned to Triple-A Omaha after the game. That means LHP Miguel Almonte, initially the Royals' 26th active player Sunday, remains on the 25-man roster. ... RHP Al Alburquerque was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Junis.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: RHP Nate Karns had his pitching arm evaluated after Friday's start against Minnesota. Manager Ned Yost said fluid was found in the elbow area but Karns does not have a strain. Karns exited his start Friday after five innings and threw just 72 pitches due to stiffness in his arm.

Twins: RHP Phil Hughes was placed on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with shoulder discomfort. Hughes took the loss in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader. Right-hander Kyle Gibson will take Hughes' place on the roster.

UP NEXT

Royals: LHP Jason Vargas (5-2, 2.03 ERA) starts Monday's series opener at the New York Yankees.

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (0-4, 8.20 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start Monday against Baltimore.

Heston makes first start with Mariners, allows seven in three innings

Heston makes first start with Mariners, allows seven in three innings

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SEATTLE -- Yolmer Sanchez had a two-run single in Chicago's five-run first inning, Derek Holland pitch eight strong innings and the White Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 8-1 Sunday.

Tim Anderson had three hits and two RBIs for the White Sox, including his fifth home run - a solo shot in the third inning - and Matt Davidson added two hits and two RBIs. Sanchez's single in the first extended his hitting streak to 12 games, tying a career high.

Holland (4-3) gave up a run and six hits while striking out six and walking two. He finished his longest outing of the season by striking out the side in the eighth inning.

Nelson Cruz hit his 11th home run in the seventh for the Mariners, who have lost three straight.

Seattle starter Chris Heston (0-1), recalled from Triple-A Tacoma before the game to make his first major league start since Oct. 2, 2015, was roughed up for seven runs and seven hits in three innings. He walked the bases loaded in the first before giving up four straight hits.

Heston became the 11th pitcher to start for the Mariners this season, the most in the major leagues. In his only other appearance this year, he gave up five runs on seven hits in two innings of relief against Detroit on April 25.

LET'S TURN TWO

The White Sox turned four double plays, equaling the team's season high - set Saturday.

TRAINERS ROOM

White Sox: OF Leury Garcia was back in the starting lineup after missing two games. Garcia was hit on the elbow in Thursday's series opener.

Mariners: 1B Danny Valencia missed his second straight game after hurting his left wrist on a slide in Friday's game, and had an MRI Sunday. First baseman Daniel Vogelbach was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and started at first base in his place. ... Seattle manager Scott Servais said LHP James Paxton, on the DL with a left forearm strain, will probably have a rehab assignment at Double-A Arkansas later this week. If all goes well Paxton could return after the Mariners' upcoming eight-game road trip. ... OF Mitch Haniger (strained right oblique) will also likely start a rehab assignment this week.

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (3-4, 4.29) starts in Chicago's series opener at Arizona. Gonzalez is 0-4 with a 6.94 ERA in his last four starts.

Mariners: Seattle has a day off Monday. RHP Christian Bergman starts Tuesday at Washington. Bergman is coming off the best outing of his career, when he held Oakland scoreless over 7 1/3 innings with a career high nine strikeouts.