Vogelsong looks terrific in Cactus League debut

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Vogelsong looks terrific in Cactus League debut

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. It will be hard for Ryan Vogelsong towrite a worthy follow-up story to his remarkable, memorable and emotional All-Starseason in 2011.

But his opening lines were expertly written Monday.

Vogelsongs first appearance against big league hitters thisspring was a complete success. He made it through 2 23 innings against the Kansas City Royals on his 40-pitchlimit, he threw strikes with all his pitches, his breaking stuff had nasty snapand his fastball hit 92 mph.

His strained lower back didnt enter his mind once, he said.

Get the first one out of the way, Vogelsong said. Getback to business.

The Giants needed to see it. Earlier in the day, they sentyoung left-hander Eric Surkamp to the MRI chamber to have his sore left elbowexamined. They dont have much rotation depth in the system. Barry Zito iscoming off a wretched outing, too.
RELATED: Elbow tests for Eric Surkamp

Vogelsong is still expected to begin the season on the disabledlist as the Giants use a day off on their opening road trip to operate with afour-man rotation. Theyll need a fifth starter on April 15 nine games intothe season and theyre hoping Vogelsong will be ready to slide into the foldon that day.

Maybe the least worried person was Vogelsong.

No, I was pretty confident I was going to be OK, he said. Ithink you guys (in the media) were more suspect than anything else."

Yet Vogelsong also said: You cant simulate game speed. Toget the game speed out of the way relaxes my mind more than anything. Now I canget ready for the season and work on my pitches and get this back thing out ofmy mind.

Vogelsong allowed a run on two hits, but one was a fly ballthat Nate Schierholtz dropped on the warning track in right field. Vogelsongstruck out two both on called breaking balls and didnt walk a batter.

It was definitely better the second and third inning, Vogelsongsaid. The first inning was not bad but I definitely felt better mechanicallyand rhythm wise. I got to sit down and get up three times. No issues with myback.

No issues when he fielded a bunt, either.

To be honest, I havent thought about it at all when Im onthe mound, he said. I go to a space mentally where I dont heard the crowd,I dont hear the music. I just focus on hitting that glove as much as I can.

I wanted to control my emotions against big league hittersand I did. I kept myself poised and under control. I got into a rhythm and thepitches were there. I fielded a bunt. I did everything I wanted to.

And what if Vogelsong has to stay in Arizona and pitch in aminor league game, and possibly another at Triple-A Fresno, as his compatriotsjet off to start the season?

If thats what they tell me to do, thats what I need todo, said Vogelsong, whose past experience rehabbing from Tommy John surgeryhas helped him stay patient. Theres 25 on the big league roster and itswhats best for all of us to get us where we need to be.

Brian Wilson followed Vogelsong and allowed a hit in ascoreless inning. He struck out one and his fastball was in the 93 mph range.Wilson is expected to be ready for a save situation when the Giants open theseason April 6.

Bullpen implodes after Cain goes five solid, Giants crushed by Padres

Bullpen implodes after Cain goes five solid, Giants crushed by Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Wil Myers capped a huge inning for the San Diego Padres with the best shot he could muster.

Myers hit a three-run homer during San Diego's eight-run sixth and the Padres rallied to beat the San Francisco Giants 12-4 on Saturday night.

Myers' shot landed in the back of the left field bleachers, traveling 433 feet according to Statcast.

"That's all I got, that's my best bullet right there," Myers said. "I watched it, and I saw where it went. When you hit one like that, you'd like to see where it ends up. That's legitimately everything I got, so I'm happy to be able to say I got everything of it."

Myers singled off Chris Stratton (0-1) to start the big inning and had three hits for the game. San Diego scored 11 runs against the Giants' bullpen following five effective innings from starter Matt Cain.

Allen Cordoba added a three-run homer off Neil Ramirez in the seventh.

San Diego entered the game tied for seventh in the majors with 31 homers. Myers is tied for the team-lead with six homers along with Austin Hedges and Ryan Schimpf, and Hunter Renfroe is close by with five.

"We've got five or six guys in the middle of the order that can hit the ball out of the ballpark at any given time," Padres manager Andy Green said.

The Padres combined for six hits and two walks off Stratton and Ramirez in the sixth. It took the duo 46 pitches to end the inning.

Jhoulys Chacin (3-3) struck out six and gave up three runs, five hits and two walks in five innings.

Stratton was charged with five runs and four hits in 1/3 of an inning and Ramirez allowed six runs, three hits and two walks over 1 2/3 innings. Their collapse followed a solid effort from Cain, who has been dogged by injuries and hasn't pitched a full season since winning 16 games in 2012. He struck out seven and allowed a run and six hits without a walk to drop his ERA to 2.30.

Cain left with a 3-1 lead after Brandon Belt's two-run single highlighted San Francisco's three-run fifth.

"It's been a while," Cain said when asked the last time he felt this well. "I might have been saying that but also I was trying to find it as well. The results weren't showing it. I'd have glimpses of it here and there. I just wanted to keep being able to put stretches together, and that's what I still want to do."

The Padres have won 11 of 15 games against the Giants dating to last season.

San Francisco (9-16) fell behind San Diego (10-16) for the NL's worst record. The Giants are 39-58 since going into last year's All-Star break 24 games over .500 with the best record in the majors.

RISING STAR

Cordoba's home run underscores the power potential the Padres see in the Rule 5 draft pick. The 21-year-old came to the majors out of rookie ball.

"He's an extremely talented player, he's got the size, he's got the build, he's got the athleticism," Myers said. "It's going to be exciting to see what he can do in the future."

CLARK TRIBUTE

San Francisco 49ers receiver Dwight Clark attended Saturday's game and got a standing ovation during a tribute that included a video clip of his leaping catch in the back of the end zone in the last minute of the 1982 NFC championship game known simply as "The Catch." Clark, whose No. 87 has been retired by the 49ers, announced last month he has Lou Gehrig's disease, which attacks cells that control muscles.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: RHP Jarred Cosart threw his second bullpen Saturday since going on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. He'll likely go on a rehab assignment in the minors before the Padres reactivate him, manager Andy Green said.

Giants: SS Brandon Crawford was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a groin injury retroactive to April 26 after an MRI on Friday revealed a mild strain, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

UP NEXT

Padres LHP Clayton Richard (2-3, 4.45 ERA) is coming off his worst start, giving up six runs in 3 2/3 innings against Arizona on Tuesday. Giants LHP Ty Blach (0-1, 4.22) will make his second start since taking injured LHP Madison Bumgarner's turn in the rotation. Blach gave up two runs and four hits in five innings against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

Giants lineup: Nunez in right field against Padres

Giants lineup: Nunez in right field against Padres

PROGRAMMING ALERT: Padres-Giants coverage begins at 5pm with Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming right here.

With the Giants shuffling players around, Eduardo Nunez finds himself manning right field Saturday evening against the Padres.

San Diego Padres:
1. Manuel Margot (R) CF
2. Cory Spangenberg (L) LF
3. Wil Myers (R) 1B
4. Yangervis Solarte (S) 2B
5. Ryan Schimpf (L) 3B
6. Hunter Renfroe (R) RF
7. Austin Hedges (R) C
8. Erick Aybar (S) SS
9. Jhoulys Chacin (R) P

San Francisco Giants:
1. Joe Panik (L) 2B
2. Brandon Belt (L) LF
3. Buster Posey (R) C
4. Michael Morse (R) 1B
5. Christian Arroyo (R) SS
6. Conor Gillaspie (L) 3B
7. Eduardo Nunez (R) RF
8. Drew Stubbs (R) CF
9. Matt Cain (R) P