SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Gary Brown wasnt a candidate to makethe Giants opening-day roster, but the clubs top prospect was expected to geta lengthy look this spring maybe even lasting to the final trims in the BayBridge exhibition games.
Instead, the Giants reassigned Brown to minor league camp Fridaymorning. Hes expected to open the season at Double-A Richmond, where helllearn to compete against higher-level pitching.
Although he set a Single-A San Jose franchise record with188 hits last season, Brown got sick in the Arizona Fall League and he wasntable to generate much momentum this spring.
He hit .182 (2 for 11) in seven games and was caughtstealing in two of three attempts. He struck out three times and didnt draw awalk.
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Brown, who hits with his hands pinned close to his body, mightneed to make a few adjustments as he learns to cover the plate against pitcherswho are much more effective at hitting the outside corner.
The Giants might have kept the 23-year-old in camp a littlelonger if not for the emergence of minor league free agent Gregor Blanco, whohas turned himself from a roster longshot to a fairly straightforward choice asthe clubs No.4 outfielder. Theres still three weeks of the spring to go,though.
Because Brown is not on the 40-man roster, he can be brought back to participate in Cactus League games.
The Giants scored twice in the first, four times in the second and once more in the third as they went on to beat the Braves 7-1 Sunday at AT&T Park.
Coming off a rough start against the Cubs, Johnny Cueto bounced back with six solid innings. He allowed six hits, one earned run, one walk and struck out eight.
The scoring started in the bottom of the first when Eduardo Nunez scored on a wild pitch by Braves starter R.A. Dickey. Brandon Crawford followed with an RBI-groundout.
Joe Panik led off the bottom of the second with a triple to right center and scored on a single by Gorkys Hernandez. Two batters later, following a walk to Denard Span, Nunez knocked in Hernandez with a single to left. Later in the inning, Crawford drove in two more runs with a single to left.
In the third, Panik opened the frame with a walk and moved to third on a single by Hernandez. Cueto helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly to right.
After taking two of three from the Braves, the Giants welcome the NL East-leading Nationals to town. The series begins with a Memorial Day matinee.
The Giants look to win two straight against the Braves and Bruce Bochy has made a few changes to the lineup Sunday.
Atlanta Braves (21-26)
1. Ender Inciarte (L) CF
2. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
3. Nick Markakis (L) RF
4. Matt Kemp (R) LF
5. Matt Adams (L) 1B
6. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
7. Rio Ruiz (L) 3B
8. Dansby Swanson (R) SS
9. R.A. Dickey (R) P
San Francisco Giants (21-30)
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Eduardo Nunez (R) 3B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Justin Ruggiano (R) RF
7. Joe Panik (L) 2B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P