Pagan quickly feeling at home with Giants

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Pagan quickly feeling at home with Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Angel Pagan has worn a Giants uniformfor just two spring training games, but hes already finding that his neworganization has his back.Even up in the broadcast booth.In the second inning of Sundays 11-1 exhibition victory over the ArizonaDiamondbacks, Pagan drilled a hard ground ball that hit runner Hector Sanchezbetween first and second base. Sanchez was ruled out, correctly. The inning wasover. The official scorer called it a fielders choice.Thats when Hall of Fame announcer Jon Miller came rushing out of the booth,waving his rulebook. He pointed to Rule 10.05 (section A, subsection 5), whichshowed that Pagan should have been credited with a single.

You cant just make this up, Miller said (and further explains in the embedded video). Under the rules of baseball, itsa hit.And so it was. Pagan went 2-for-4. You can look it up in the box score.Its very, very early in the spring, but Pagan has been a big hit in his shorttime as a Giant. He added an RBI single later in Sundays game to drive in arun. No. 2 hitter Melky Cabrera also doubled for the second consecutive game andprobably seared his retinas while making a tough catch on a sun ball in leftfield.With their catalysts leading the way, the Giants also got three hits each fromBrett Pill and Mike Fontenot on the hard-baked surface to rout the defending NLWest champions at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.Manager Bruce Bochy wanted to see plenty of Pagan and Cabrera in the top twolineup spots, which is why he put them in the same split-squad roster Sunday.He likes what he sees thus far.Its early. Its two games, Bochy said. But even with that, you like the wayits going right now. We have time to get this thing jelled together into alineup that will pretty much be our everyday lineup.As the two guys at the top of the order show, were a little more athleticnow. Theyre getting good at-bats and swinging the bat well. We ran the baseswell today. It was a very nice ballgame.Pagan is making an impression in the clubhouse, too. His upbeat personality wasreadily apparent to teammates from his first day he spent with them at FanFestat AT&T Park last month. It was a trip he didnt have to make, especiallyconsidering the long flight from his home in Puerto Rico.Wow, he said at FanFest, his face aglow as he was ushered from the stage toan autograph station. They dont have anything like this with the Mets.Pagan showed more personality when asked about the swarm of bees that delayedthe game for 41 minutes in the second inning."Never seen anything like it," he said. "I didnt know what todo. If I got stung by one, Id get stung by a million. I stood in the dugout bythe bathroom, ready to lock myself in."Asked about his upbeat, outgoing nature this spring, Pagan made reference to acouple of pretty good sparkplugs.What you see is what you get, he said Sunday. I like to be a good guy aroundmy teammates so they can be comfortable. I played with (Jose) Reyes so I try tohave that same infusion of energy in me. Its being energetic, no differentthan Andres Torres. Thats something that every team needs. When you have aspark like that at the top of the lineup, it can change your lineup dramatically.Youll remember that Pagan and Torres were traded for each other in December.The Mets wanted to cut costs, and Ramon Ramirez filled their need for adependable right-handed reliever.The Giants believe they got a more dependable everyday offensive player inPagan, without sacrificing too much defense in center field. As beloved asTorres was among Giants fans, its no secret he was mentally drowning as thestrikeouts piled up.And Pagan looks like he could be a fan favorite, too.This team is committed to win, he said. Im not saying that the Mets werentcommitted, but these guys have a very good chance to make it to the postseason.Theyre committed to get back. Last year, they got hit by injury bug and thatssomething they cant control.But this year is different. They put some speed in top of lineup with me andMelky. Weve definitely got some power. If we can provide some runs early, thatmight be the game. Seeing it from the outside, every time you put three orfourruns up with this pitching staff, its over.

He hopes to save some runs forthat staff in center field, too.Very wide outfield gaps, he said. Its good for me. Im a gap-to-gap hitterso hopefully I can get a lot of triples over there. Its a lot of room to cover(but) I worked really hard this offseason for that. Im ready.One other note of interest to Giants fans: Pagan is not related to former Giant Jose Pagan, who passed away last June. But they did meet a few times, and when people called to express condolences, Angel kindly accepted.

Giants use big fifth, sixth innings to take down Cubs

Giants use big fifth, sixth innings to take down Cubs

BOX SCORE

At Scottsdale, Arizona, Giants starter Matt Cain gave up two runs — one earned — and three hits over two innings.

New Giants closer Mark Melancon tossed a 1-2-3 third inning in his first outing. Cain threw 40 pitches and Justin Ruggiano had an RBI double in a three-run fifth.

Javier Baez went 2 for 3 with an RBI double.

Giants spring training Day 13: Cain goes two; Melancon has perfect debut

Giants spring training Day 13: Cain goes two; Melancon has perfect debut

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bruce Bochy planned to give most of his pitchers one-inning stints during the first weekend of spring ball, but Matt Cain stretched it out to 40 pitches on Saturday. 

“I’ve had enough days off the past couple of years,” Cain said, smiling.

In his first start of a crucial spring, Cain threw two innings. He was charged with three hits and two runs, just one of them earned. 

“He’s in a good place right now with his arm strength,” Bochy said. “His delivery is consistent. I’m glad he got a lot of work today, to be honest. It’s something he needs as much as anybody on this staff, is work. He’s going to get it.”

Ty Blach, Cain’s biggest competition for the fifth starter spot, gave up four hits and one earned in his two innings. Neither pitcher was hit particularly hard, and both suffered a bit from iffy defense in the early innings of an 8-6 win over the Cubs. 

The inning separating Cain and Blach was notable for other reasons. Mark Melancon made his Giants debut, getting two groundouts and a fly to right in a quick inning. Melancon received a nice ovation, and he noted the opponent — a Cubs team that helped guarantee the Giants would spend big on a closer — but he didn’t put any added importance on the outing. 

“It doesn’t matter what I do out there right now,” he said. 

Melancon’s new teammates might disagree. Spring or not, the Giants certainly enjoyed watching a closer breeze through his inning. Especially against the Cubs. 

“He’s a pro,” Bochy said. “He’s going to be out there working on stuff, his command and pitches. It was good for Buster (Posey) to catch him. It was a good day for him.”

NOTABLE: On his first swing of the spring, Posey threw his bat up against the visiting dugout. It can only go uphill from there … Bryan Morris had a scoreless debut, striking out one … Josh Osich ran into some trouble in the eighth and gave up a pair of runs, but Bochy appreciated the way he fought his way out of the frame … Former Giants prospect Chris Dominguez started for the Cubs at first base. He had a couple of hits ... If you're headed to Goodyear for tomorrow's game, Joe Panik, Brandon Belt, Conor Gillaspie, Jimmy Rollins, Mac Williamson, Jarrett Parker, Gorkys Hernandez and Trevor Brown will start behind Matt Moore. Also, if you're headed to Goodyear, I'm sorry. 

TRAINER’S ROOM: Eduardo Nuñez is limited to DH duty for now because of a sore throwing shoulder. Nuñez said the tightness popped up after some work in the weight room, but he’s not concerned at all. He said he would have played third base if Saturday’s game was a regular season contest. The Giants expect him in the field sometime next week. 

Nuñez also said it took five weeks after the season ended for his hamstring to get back to 100 percent, so apparently that injury was much worse than it first looked. Nuñez was out on the field before every NLDS game, trying to get clearance to return. He never quite got there. 

Will Smith (elbow) is just a day or two from throwing off flat ground, Bochy said. 

CUETO UPDATE: The Giants had hoped to have Johnny Cueto in camp this weekend, but he remains in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. Cueto is waiting for a visa for his ill father, Domingo, who will travel to Scottsdale with Johnny. 

LIGHTER SIDE: Brandon Crawford spent a couple of minutes learning some of Jeff Samardzija’s mound moves. The impersonation is pretty solid.