Giants lineups: Belt back in RF, Sanchez hits the road to DH

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Giants lineups: Belt back in RF, Sanchez hits the road to DH

Bruce Bochy has announced both lineups for Saturday's split squad matchups against the Brewers and Angels.

Home split squad lineup vs. Brewers:

Angel Pagan CF
Melky Cabrera LF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Brett Pill 1B
Brandon Belt RF
Hector Sanchez C
Ryan Theriot 2B
Brandon Crawford SS
Tommy Joseph DH
(Barry Zito SP)

Bochy is clearly keeping his A-squad at home as the 1-2-3 could be what the Giants trot out on Opening Day against the Diamondbacks.

The most interesting aspect of this lineup is Brandon Belt in right field. Belt came into the Giants win over the Reds on Friday as a defensive replacement for Nate Schierholtz in right field and robbed Miguel Rojas of a hit in the 8th inning with a nice catch off his shoetops on a sinking line drive.

Belt has played four innings in right this spring, along with six in left field and 21 at first base.

If Belt is forced to the outfield by either Aubrey Huff, Brett Pill, or even a catching weary Buster Posey, left field would seem to be the easier transition for the slick-fielding first baseman. A right fielder should have the strongest arm on the team, an honor which belongs to Nate Schierholtz. And while it may not be a factor at Scottsdale Stadium, the brick wall at AT&T Park makes it one of the hardest right fields to defend in the big leagues.

Hector Sanchez is back in the lineup to catch Barry Zito after tweaking his hamstring and taking a few days off. Sanchez was batting .444 with a home run and four RBIs before the injury. In his absence, and before Buster Posey was ready to return, top prospect Tommy Joseph saw a little more playing time and took advantage of it, as he is 2-for-6 with two RBIs in limited action heading into Saturday's game as the designated hitter.

Barry Zito takes the mound for his second start of the spring. He debuted on March 6 against the Dodgers and allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in two innings pitched. Despite living in the 81-83 MPH range, Zito threw 28 of 35 pitches for strikes against the Giants' N.L. West rivals.
Road split squad lineup vs. Angels:

Gregor Blanco CF
Emmanuel Burriss 2B
Freddy Sanchez DH
Aubrey Huff 1B
Conor Gillaspie 3B
Eli Whiteside C
Joaquin Arias SS
Tyler Graham RF
Justin Christian LF
(Shane Loux SP)

Bochy put together a less recognizable lineup for the Giants' road game against the Angels.

Gregor Blanco, hitting .429 with four steals this spring, gets an opportunity to state his case for a roster spot as the Giants' fourth outfielder.

Freddy Sanchez will get a second straight game as a designated hitter, with Bochy saying Friday that he may put him at second base for the first time this spring on Monday.

When the Giants' lineup was posted Friday with Aubrey Huff starting in left field, he looked at the print out and said "Am I really in left field? OK." Looks like the veteran will get a break Saturday as he returns to his natural position at first.

Conor Gillaspie, who the Giants drafted with the 37th overall pick in 2008, is only hitting .231 but has made some solid contact in his 13 at-bats. In 19 at-bats with the big-league club last season, Gillaspie hit .250 with a home run.

Giants lineup: Arroyo returns for series opener vs Nationals

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AP

Giants lineup: Arroyo returns for series opener vs Nationals

Bruce Bochy and Dusty Baker issued their lineups for today's series opener at AT&T Park:

Nationals (30-19)
1. Trea Turner (R) SS
2. Jayson Werth (R) LF
3. Bryce Harper (L) RF
4. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 1B
5. Daniel Murphy (L) 2B
6. Anthony Rendon (R) 3B
7. Matt Wieters (S) C
8. Michael Taylor (R) CF
9. Tanner Roark (R) P (4-2, 4.32 ERA)

Giants (22-30)
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Justin Ruggiano (R) RF
7. Christian Arroyo (R) 3B
8. Mac Williamson (R) LF
9. Matt Moore (L) P (2-5, 5.28 ERA)

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The blisters on Johnny Cueto's middle and index fingers that limited his effectiveness in his last few starts haven't yet completely healed.

But the two-time All-Star is learning to pitch with them.

Cueto threw six strong innings and Brandon Crawford drove in three runs as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Sunday.

Cueto (5-4) bounced back from his roughest stretch as a Giant. He was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four starts.

"They're not bothering me like they were before," Cueto said through a translator. "I'm just getting used to it but I have to continue pitching until they get better."

The Giants won their third straight home series and posted their 11th victory in 18 games overall.

Crawford's two-run single highlighted a four-run second against R.A. Dickey (3-4) that made it 6-0.

Matt Kemp had three hits for Atlanta. But the Braves couldn't get much going against Cueto, who allowed one run on six hits and a walk. Cueto struck out eight, including five in a row at one point.

"He did what he needed to do to get us out," Kemp said. "We had chances to score runs and we didn't. I think in this series we really didn't do a good score of scoring runs."

Dickey allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks in six innings.

"This can be a challenging place to throw because of the wind because it swirls so much," Dickey said.

Eduardo Nunez and Gorkys Hernandez each had two hits for the Giants. Joe Panik tripled to start the second-inning burst.

Cueto had two productive at-bats, bunting a runner to second in the second inning and driving in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third.

"It's always nice to have a lead and I thought Johnny was the sharpest he'd been this year," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "Hopefully it's something he can build on. The changeup was working really well and his command of the fastball was really good."

Posey was 0 for 2 with two walks. He hasn't struck out in 55 consecutive plate appearances.

FUN FACTOR:
The Giants scored the game's first run when Nunez came around from third when a knuckleball glanced off catcher Kurt Suzuki glove in the bottom of the first. The play was ruled a passed ball. Asked if he had any empathy for the plight of his counterpart, Posey said "Yes, no question. It's not fun to hit, it doesn't look fun to catch, either."

FANCY FIELDING:
Hernandez made a diving catch in the gap in left-center robbing Emilio Bonifacio of an extra-base hit with one out in the seventh inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips left in the fifth for pinch-hitter Jace Peterson. Phillips fouled a ball off his foot in his last at-bat in the third.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner will start his throwing program on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Bumgarner will start out playing catch and make five rehab starts. The 2014 World Series MVP suffered a separated left shoulder in a dirt biking accident. "The progress is happening," Bochy said. "I think he sees light at the end of the tunnel." ... Slumping rookie INF Christian Arroyo was out of the lineup on Sunday and his playing status appears uncertain. Arroyo, who turns 22 on Tuesday, is 0 for 19 in his last five games. "I'll talk to him, about what his situation is," Bochy said. "I'm definitely planning on giving him a couple of days" off.

UP NEXT:
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will make his first career start against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. He is 3-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 15 career interleague starts.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore will face the Nationals for the second time in his career. He was with Tampa Bay when he gave up two runs in five innings against Washington in 2012.