Giants close Cactus League schedule with 7-4 loss to Brewers

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Giants close Cactus League schedule with 7-4 loss to Brewers

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PHOENIX (AP) Tim Lincecum and Yovani Gallardo are both ready for their opening-day starts.Gallardo, who will be making his third straight opening day start for Milwaukee at home against St. Louis, outlasted Lincecum and the Giants in Milwaukee's 7-4 win on Sunday.Gallardo allowed four runs and eight hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in 5 23 innings.Lincecum gave up six runs and eight hits for the Giants. He walked one and struck out four in 4 23 innings. He also went 2 for 2 with an RBI."He (Gallardo) was really good, then a little off, really good, then a little off. He was up and down. He lost his command a little bit," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He needs to be consistent, keep it every single inning."Despite the inconsistency, Roenicke said Gallardo is ready to go against the Cardinals.Gallardo gave up a three-run homer to Brandon Crawford in the second inning, then settled down.The Giants scored in the fourth when Lincecum got his second hit, showing bunt and then chopping the ball over third baseman Aramis Ramirez for an RBI single."Honestly, I gave up those four runs, but I felt like my rhythm was the best it's been all spring," Gallardo said.He has been working on it all spring."That's where it all starts for me," he said. "I want to stay together, balanced throughout my whole mechanics. Once I start rushing or slowing down a little bit is where I get into trouble, and the ball doesn't explode out of my hand. Today, the mechanics were finally were where they were supposed to be."Lincecum was focused on Friday's start."The location was good, the best my fastball location has been all spring," he said. "Regardless of the outcome, I feel good coming out of it."I am ready to get back out there and pitch a real game, pitch with a purpose."He said his run-scoring hit was lucky."I was hoping it would stay fair," he said. "We (pitchers) work on our hitting ... every at-bat is important, and we take it seriously."A two-run double by Ryan Braun was the key hit of a three-run Milwaukee fifth. Nyjer Morgan hit a two-out solo homer off Giants setup man Sergio Romo in the sixth.Roenicke has been impressed with the play of free-agent veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez this spring.Gonzalez had two hits to raise his spring average to .440 and was in the middle of a key double play, making a throw to get Gregor Blanco at first to end the fourth.Notes: Brewers right fielder Corey Hart might be activated for opening day after recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. He likely will have a light workout day on Monday and then play in games on Tuesday and Wednesday, giving him approximately six more at-bats. "We want to be smart about it," Roenicke said. Closer John Axford picked up the save for the Brewers on Sunday, but Roenicke said he still is trying to find his command. ... The Giants head back home to the Bay Area for a three-game Bay Bridge series with Oakland before returning to Arizona.

Top pick Heliot Ramos visits AT&T Park, will start Giants career this weekend

Top pick Heliot Ramos visits AT&T Park, will start Giants career this weekend

SAN FRANCISCO — As he was wrapping up the first press conference of his career, Heliot Ramos was asked when he expects to be back at AT&T Park as a player. The 17-year-old smiled and said he hopes to debut in three years. 

“I know it’s hard, but that’s my dream,” Ramos continued. “I know I’ve got to work hard for that.”

A half-dozen Giants officials stood a few feet away, smiling. Three years would be incredibly impressive. It took Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones four years after being drafted out of high school to reach the big leagues. Buster Posey got a cup of coffee a year after he was drafted, but he was already 22 years old because he had played three years at Florida State. 

Ramos doesn’t turn 18 until September. The Giants hope he is dominating A-ball in three years, and yet, he’s the the kind of prospect that allows them to dream for so much more. 

“If he grew up in Southern California (instead of Puerto Rico) we never would have had a shot at drafting him,” one team official said Tuesday.

Ramos certainly opened eyes in his second trip to AT&T Park, but then again, he put on a display the first time, too. The Giants brought him in for a pre-draft workout and someone pointed out to Ramos that the deepest part of the park was 421 feet. The right-handed hitter, making the transition to a wood bat, wasn’t bothered by the dimensions. He took aim at Triples Alley and tried to blast one out, and he nearly did. Then he started pulling the ball, peppering the left field bleachers with homers and convincing the front office that he was the right pick at No. 19 in this month’s draft. Ramos, described as a potential five-tool center fielder, said he enjoys hitting here.

“It’s a park with a lot of history, and I like that,” he said. 

The clock on his career starts this weekend. Ramos will travel back to Arizona and play in a rookie league game Friday or Saturday. It is always a slow progression for a high school draft pick, but the Giants believe Ramos is physically mature enough to jump right in with both feet. 

Ramos, who said his favorite player is Andrew McCutchen, is listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds and he carries it well. One member of the front office compared his body type to Yasiel Puig as a rookie; another called him a “mini-Cespedes.” Bruce Bochy lit up when asked about the physicality of the organization’s latest top pick. 

“Any time you get a young kid like this, the ceiling is so high,” he said. “That excites you.”

Bochy spent some time with Ramos and his family after batting practice. As they posed for photos, the manager looked out at the field and then turned to a PR representative.

“Can he take BP? Put him in the last group,” Bochy said, smiling. “I’ll put him in the lineup tomorrow.”

Ramos didn’t end up taking swings, but if all goes according to his plan, it won’t be long.

Giants lineup: After nine-run outburst on Monday, Bochy makes no changes

Giants lineup: After nine-run outburst on Monday, Bochy makes no changes

Bud Black and Bruce Bochy issued their lineups for Game 2 of their series at AT&T Park:

Rockies (47-32) 
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
5. Ian Desmond (R) LF
6. Alexi Amarista (L) RF
7. Trevor Story (R) SS
8. Tony Wolters (L) C
9. Jeff Hoffman (R) P

Giants (28-51)
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Hunter Pence (R) RF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Ryder Jones (L) 3B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Matt Cain (R) P (3-7, 5.54 ERA)