Giants

Giants spring training Day 33: Morse makes spring debut in outfield

Giants spring training Day 33: Morse makes spring debut in outfield

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Michael Morse’s spring training charge continued in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday, with a scorched double to the gap that led to the lone Giants run of the night. The coaches have seen enough of Morse this spring to know the bat speed is still there. This game against the Rockies was significant for other reasons.

Morse played left field for the first time this spring, and while it was a mixed bag, he seemed to get a nice endorsement from his manager after the game. 

“You look at our history and we’ve put some guys in left field who are maybe not the fastest, like (Pat) Burrell and (Travis) Ishikawa,” Bruce Bochy said. “But if the bat plays, you find a place for them.”

Morse’s bat certainly still looks like it can get the job done. During his first night in the outfield, he made one play that impressed the bench and another that served as a reminder that he has work to do. When Gorkys Hernandez slipped on a fly ball to left-center, Morse made enough ground to pick up his center fielder. But in the seventh, Morse came up short on a Charlie Blackmon flare to left after getting a poor jump.

Morse has played just 35 innings in the outfield since leaving the Giants at the end of the 2014 season. His previous 28 defensive innings this spring came at first base. Asked how the return to the outfield felt, Morse smiled. 

“Scary!” he said. “It was fun, though. It was like riding a bike … with two flat tires.”

Bochy said Morse and others may play in minor league games over the next week to get additional fly balls. Earlier Friday, Chris Marrero, Gordon Beckham, Jae-gyun Hwang and Aaron Hill did outfield work with guest instructor Cody Ross. Morse said he would be fine with a trip to the minor league facility. 

“I wouldn’t mind doing that,” he said. “As long as it’s during spring training.”

GAME RECAP: Matt Cain gave up three runs in 4 2/3 as the Giants fell 5-1 to the Rockies. Here’s what Cain had to say about his outing and his updated spring numbers

“It was better today,” Bochy said. “His numbers showed it. He made a couple mistakes there when he was in a positive count, but overall it was a better day. He needs to sharpen things up when he’s ahead in the count.”

BACK IN ACTION: Will Smith (elbow) made his spring debut, allowing two hits in one inning of work. One of the hits was the flare to left that dropped in front of Morse. Smith got a double play to end the inning. He’s a couple of days ahead of the original rehab schedule, and it looks like the Giants will have time to get him up to speed before opening day. 

“I thought he threw well,” Bochy said. “He looked fine for the first time out.”

UPSET ALERT: The Giants announced a crowd of 12,184 for a night game in downtown Scottsdale on St. Patrick’s Day, which is the perfect concoction for trouble. The gates opened at 4 p.m. and by 4:02 p.m. authorities had been called to deal with an unruly fan, but ultimately there were only two more incidents the rest of the night. Shocker. An usher noted that spring training has become so expensive that the revelers have been priced out of games like this one. 

FAMILIAR FACES: Randy Winn (scouting), Will Clark (coaching), Rich Aurilia (coaching) and Jeremy Affeldt (coaching and pretending he’s not a member of the media) were among the former Giants in camp on Friday afternoon.

ICYMI: It’s all about Matt Cain on this website today. He was the latest guest on my Giants Insider podcast. You can stream it here or download it on iTunes here.

Giants start off quick, but Phillies rough up Blach to power past San Francisco

Giants start off quick, but Phillies rough up Blach to power past San Francisco

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ty Kelly doesn't play much, but he's learned to make the most of his opportunities.

"He's my secret weapon," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

Mackanin summoned him at the most opportune of times on Saturday night, and Kelly delivered.

Kelly had a pinch-hit grand slam, Rhys Hoskins hit a three-run homer and Philadelphia snapped a six-game losing streak, beating the San Francisco Giants 12-9.

"I take anything positive, but that was pretty amazing," Kelly said.

Down 12-4, the Giants scored five times in the ninth inning and brought the tying run to the plate before Hector Neris struck out Carlos Moncrief for his 14th save.

Adam Morgan (1-1) threw just one pitch and got the win.

Kelly batted for Morgan and hit a slam off Cory Gearrin that capped a seven-run burst in the sixth inning for an 11-4 lead. He has 14 RBIs on 14 hits this year.

"The one thing he does is he doesn't overswing," Mackanin said. "He doesn't try to do too much and he's got some quickness in his bat. If you make a mistake like they did tonight, he doesn't try to overpower, he just tries to put the head on it and that's what he did tonight."

Denard Span became the first Giants player to lead off with an inside-the-park home run in 72 years. The last Giant to do it was Johnny Rucker on June 20, 1945, when the team played in New York and was at the Polo Grounds against the Boston Braves, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Ty Blach (8-9) took the loss.

Cameron Rupp homered and doubled, and Freddy Galvis had three hits for the Phillies.

Rupp doubled off Blach with one out to start the sixth, with Span losing the high flyball to center field. The ball landed in front of him.

"He lost it. He never saw it in the twilight," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "The ball is tough to pick up at that time of the night."

Giants star Buster Posey was 1 for 4, extending his hitting streak against the Phillies to 21 games going back to 2014.

HOMETOWN HERO:
Hoskins homered for the fourth time in seven games. Since going hitless in his first 12 at-bats after being called up from Triple-A, the rookie is 7 for 21 with four home runs in seven games.

His power surge has coincided with his team making a trip to the Bay Area, near where he grew up in the Sacramento area. He had about 35 to 40 friends and relatives at Saturday's game.

"I grew up a Giants fan, to play in this ballpark is pretty special," Hoskins said. "It's something that I dreamt of, especially to get a win the way we did tonight is pretty cool."

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin's status for his next turn in the rotation is uncertain after the 23-year-old reported tightness in right shoulder, Mackanin said. ... RHP Ben Lively is with the team and will be activated before Sunday's game to start the series finale, Mackanin said. Lively will take the roster spot of outfielder Odubel Herrera, who on Friday was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury (retroactive to Aug. 15). Lively will take RHP Mark Leiter's spot in the rotation in a move that sends Leiter to the bullpen.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto will pitch in a rehab assignment for Triple-A Sacramento on Monday and likely make one more rehab start before being activated, manager Bruce Bochy said. Cueto has been on the disabled list since July 15 with blisters on his right hand. He will throw 50 to 60 pitches on Monday, Bochy said.

UP NEXT:
Phillies: Lively (1-4, 3.80 ERA) recorded his lone career win against the Giants on June 3, when he gave up one run in seven innings of four-hit ball. Lively was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on pitch in the majors for the first time since July 5.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (3-5, 2.99) is 4-3 with a 3.60 ERA in nine career starts against the Phillies. He was 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA in two starts against the Phillies last season.

Giants lineup: After 10 runs vs Phillies, Bochy sticks with his guys

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USATSI

Giants lineup: After 10 runs vs Phillies, Bochy sticks with his guys

The Giants scored early and often Friday night, giving Bruce Bochy no reason to switch anything up Saturday in San Francisco.

Philadelphia Phillies (43-77)

1. Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
2. Freddy Galvis (S) SS
3. Nick Williams (L) CF
4. Rhys Hoskins (R) LF
5. Maikel Franco (R) 3B
6. Jorge Alfaro (R) 1B
7. Cameron Rupp (R) C
8. Cameron Perkins (R) RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff (R) P

San Francisco Giants (50-74)

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Hunter Pence (R) RF
3. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Ryder Jones (L) 1B
8. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
9. Ty Blach (R) P