EXTRAS: Runzler update, Melkys monster spring

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EXTRAS: Runzler update, Melkys monster spring

Dan Runzler is on the shelf after aggravating his latissimusdorsi muscle, but said he is feeling better after receiving a platelet-richplasma treatment in San Francisco on Thursday.The initial timeframe of a return to throwing has been scaled back from threeto four weeks to two to three weeks.Before flying to San Francisco for the PRP treatment,Runzler visited noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who looked at Runzlers MRIsand determined that surgery wouldnt be necessary. Runzler went 1-2 with a 6.26 ERA last season and left the Giants final game ofthe regular season with a tear in his lat muscle.

--Maybe Melky Cabrera is hearing the peanut gallery callinghis 2011 breakout season a fluke.RELATED: Posey, Sanchez return; Giants beat Reds 6-3
After hitting .305 with 18 home runs and 87 RBIs with the Kansas City Royalslast season, he was shipped to San Francisco for Jonathan Sanchez. There isskepticism among media members and fans that he cant match his career yearnumbers from 2011.But Cabrera is off to a blazing hot start in the Cactus League, including histhird home run of the spring Friday. Cabrera took Reds righty Sam LeCure deep on a towering two-run shot way over theright-field fence in the 3rd inning.For the spring, Cabrera is hitting .588 with six RBIs and only one strikeout in17 at bats. --Brandon Belt was the only other Giant to homer against theReds, as he sent Chad Reinekes 3-1 pitch over the wall in right field in the 8thinning.It was Belts second shot of the springand upped his average to .389. Belt didnt get the start on Friday, butentered the game as a defensive replacement for Nate Schierholtz in right fieldin the 6th inning.Belt also flashed the leather in right, catching a sinking line drive off hisshoetops to rob Miguel Rojas of a hit in the 8th inning.
RELATED: Sanchez has quiet debut, may start at second base Monday
--The Giants have confirmed an earlier report of a one-yearagreement with Madison Bumgarner. The team also announced that they have agreedto terms on contracts for all 19 of their players with 0-to-3 years of servicetime. One such player is Buster Posey, who made 575,000 last season.--Heath Hembree had been perfect so far this spring heading into Fridays game,pitching two scoreless innings with two strikeouts.The hard-throwing closer-in-waiting allowed his first run of the spring againstthe Reds, as he was called upon in the ninth and gave up an RBI double toDaniel Dorn after issuing a one-out walk to Wilson Valdez.Hembree rebounded by striking out the next two batters to end the game and givethe Giants a 6-3 win.RELATED: Giants' Cain in midseason form after two spring starts
In his last outing, Hembrees velocity was reportedly down and it didnt liveup to the hype on Friday, either. While the 94-96 he hit Friday is nothing to laugh at, Hembree has made a namefor himself by living in the 98-100 range last season with San Jose andRichmond.--One last light note to close out the final post of the day from Scottsdale.After taking batting practice, Buster Posey walked back to the dugout to achorus of screaming kids asking for his autograph.Posey obliged and began to take sharpies, jerseys and baseballs from allangles.As he was signing, one young fan asked him Buster, why areyou so good?Before Posey could answer (as if he could come up with a humble response),another youngster handled the question for him: Because he just is

Giants lineup: Ruggiano moves up against lefty Lester

Giants lineup: Ruggiano moves up against lefty Lester

Bruce Bochy and Joe Maddon issued their lineups for Game 2 of the four-game series in Chicago:

Giants (20-26)
1. Joe Panik (L) 2B
2. Christian Arroyo (R) 3B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Justin Ruggiano (R) RF
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Eduardo Nunez (R) LF
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) CF
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P (4-3, 4.50 ERA)

Cubs (22-21)
1. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
2. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Ian Happ (S) CF
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Willson Contreras (R) C
8. Addison Russell (R) SS
9. Jon Lester (L) P (2-2, 3.57 ERA)

Giants notes: Blach shows resiliency; another option in center?

Giants notes: Blach shows resiliency; another option in center?

CHICAGO — John Lackey's night started with a leadoff homer. Ty Blach's night started with a 13-pitch battle. Neither one is a positive for a pitcher, but Blach didn't view it that way. He actually appreciated Ben Zobrist stretching him out.

"It's good to have a battle like that and get you locked in," Blach said. "It gets you focused and you'll be like, I can execute and get guys out. It's good. It's a good battle."

There, in a nutshell, is so much of what Bruce Bochy loves about his young left-hander. The Giants have found Blach's arm and resolve to be remarkably resilient. He wasn't bothered when they moved him to the bullpen and he didn't get too high when they moved him back to the rotation. He is the same after seven shutout innings or three poor ones. Bochy smiled when asked about the Zobrist at-bat, which ended in a strikeout looking. 

"How 'bout that?" the manager said. "He won that at-bat. It seems like the advantage goes to the hitter, seeing all those pitches. He kept his focus and got a called strikeout and here he is pitching in the eighth inning."

After needing 13 pitches for one out, Blach got the next 23 on 81 pitches. Bochy thought Blach tired a bit in the eighth, but the deep effort allowed Bochy to mix and match in the bullpen, and ultimately he found the right mix. Hunter Strickland and Mark Melancon closed it out and got Blach his second win.

--- From last night, Joe Panik's huge night helped give Blach an early lead. With the help of Ron Wotus and his shift charts, he also put on a show defensively.

--- We're trying something new right after the final pitch: Here are five quick takeaways from the 6-4 win.

--- The options game sent Kelby Tomlinson back to Triple-A on Wednesday when the Giants activated Melancon, but his latest stint in Sacramento comes with a twist. Tomlinson started his third consecutive game in center field on Monday. The Giants are getting a bit more serious about their longtime plan to make Tomlinson a super-utility player. 

“Tommy is a valuable guy in the majors and if we can give him some experience in the outfield, it gives you more flexibility and versatility,” manager Bruce Bochy said. 

This is not Tomlinson’s first foray into the outfield. He did work there in the offseason after the 2015 season and he has played 25 big league innings in left field the last two seasons. This is Tomlinson’s first real experience with center field, and while in the past he has said that the transition isn’t as easy as some might think, Bochy is confident Tomlinson can figure it out. He certainly has the speed to be a semi-regular in the outfield, and the Giants aren’t exactly brimming with quality center field options behind Denard Span, who is dealing with his second injury of the season. 

“It’s a little different now,” Bochy said when asked about Tomlinson’s past experiences in the outfield. “He’s in Sacramento doing it, and knowing there’s a possibility we could need help in the outfield.”

If the switch doesn’t come in handy this season, it could in 2018. Bochy compared Tomlinson’s infield-outfield ability to Eduardo Nuñez, who has found regular playing time in left but is a free agent after the year. 

--- Hunter Pence did some light running in the outfield before Monday’s game. Bochy said Pence is still about a week away from being an option.

--- Bochy has said it a few times now when asked about the standings, so it’s officially a new motto for a team that got off to a brutal start: “We’ve put ourselves in a great situation for a great story.”

--- They're starting to get a little grumpy around here with their team hovering around .500. Perhaps the Cubs thought they could fool a few on the way out of Wrigley.