Giants

Surkamp goes four, Giants top Cubs 3-2

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Surkamp goes four, Giants top Cubs 3-2

BOX SCORE
MESA, Ariz. -- Eric Surkamp made another pitch to become part of San Francisco's rotation.A long shot to claim a spot, Surkamp threw four effective innings as the Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Friday.Surkamp went 2-2 in six starts for San Francisco as a rookie last season. He gave up one run and four hits, striking out four.

"I'm happy with how I did," said Surkamp, nicked only by Anthony Rizzo's home run. "My arm speed is coming back a little bit. I ran into a little dead arm early in spring training. But I'm starting to feel better."Surkamp's chances to make the rotation rest on whether the Giants start somebody on the disabled list."Eric threw well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It seems like he's developing more and more confidence each time he gets out there."For the Cubs, Matt Garza chopped into his sky-high spring ERA by allowing two runs and three hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out three."I pulled out all my stuff today," said Garza, hoping to be the opening day starter for the Cubs. "That makes it a lot easier when I need a weapon besides a fastball and a changeup.""I'm happy we made progress but I'm still not done," he said. "I've done this the last seven years. Six actually - it took one year to figure it out. I getting my ready at my pace. I know my body."Garza carried a 16.20 ERA into the game. He sailed through the first three innings before giving up two runs in the fourth."When April 5th comes, I'll be ready to go. It's one step at a time to get everything right, get everything in sync. The hardest thing about this game is getting back into the rhythm," he said.Rizzo's homer was his second of the spring. Catcher Blake Lalli, a non-roster invitee, also hit a solo homer for the Cubs.Cubs manager Dale Sveum has been preaching aggressive baserunning. But in this game, the approach backfired in the ninth inning.With the Cubs trailing 3-2, Joe Mather singled but was then thrown out trying to go form first to third on Brett Jackson's sacrifice bunt.For the Giants, Buster Posey went 1 for 2. He is scheduled to serve as the DH in a minor league game, then take a few days off, Bochy said.
BAGGARLY: Posey pleased after outing
The Cubs will play a split-squad set Saturday, with one game against the Athletics at Phoenix and the other being the first of two against the Texas Rangers in Las Vegas."It breaks up spring training," Sveum said of the Vegas trip. "I don't know if it's a reward. You're still playing. You don't get to enjoy Vegas, though I'm sure somebody will."NOTES: The game drew a packed crowd of 13,245...The Cubs picked up RHP Frankie de la Cruz off waivers from Milwaukee. ... Sveum likes what he sees from pitcher Lendy Castillo, a right-hander obtained in the Rule 5 draft. "He's obviously doing well," Sveum said of Castillo, who has given up one run in five innings. "He's been able to throw strikes, his stuff is there. His poise on the mound. ... and his athleticism and competitiveness has been far and above the Rule 5 guys I've been around."

Five mistakes that will haunt Giants after 77th loss of 2017

Five mistakes that will haunt Giants after 77th loss of 2017

SAN FRANCISCO — If the Giants were in a different situation, Tuesday night’s loss was the kind that really would sting for a few days. As is, it was simply loss No. 77 in a stunningly bad season. 

The Giants went down 4-3 in somewhat familiar fashion, with their offense failing to break through and their bullpen coming up short. But this loss, No. 77, was also about small mistakes, both mental and physical. Let’s count down some of the ways the Giants went down:

--- Gorkys Hernandez, a late addition to the lineup because Hunter Pence has a tight hamstring, dropped a fly ball in deep right in the fourth inning. That cost Jeff Samardzija a run and a few more pitches. Bruce Bochy said Pence likely will be off Wednesday and then return Friday in Arizona. 

--- Bochy pulled Samardzija after just 89 pitches, and it was certainly peculiar in the moment. The thing is, the intention fit in with the reality of this season. Samardzija has carried a heavy load and Bochy was trying to protect his arm a bit. 

“The inning before, he logged some pitches,” Bochy said. “I’ve worked him pretty hard and I’m really looking after him as much as anything. We’re trying to give some guys a break and it didn’t work out. We had some guys lined up in the seventh, eighth, ninth — it just didn’t work out in the seventh.”

--- You can’t really argue with protecting a big-money pitcher in a down year. But Bochy probably wishes he had chosen someone other than Albert Suarez, who was fresher than others but has now given up runs in six of seven appearances. Suarez turned a one-run lead into a one-run deficit. It was more glaring when Kyle Crick entered and pitched 1 1/3 sharp innings. 

--- The Giants still had a chance — it helped that the Brewers took a dominant Josh Hader out of the game just because he’s a lefty and Nick Hundley bats right-handed — and they put two on in the eighth. Denard Span hit a soft single to right and Phil Nevin waved Hundley, who has catcher’s legs. He was out by a mile. Bochy said he was fine with forcing the issue there, although that’s a call Nevin probably wants back. 

Another twist on the play: Bochy could have put speedy Orlando Calixte in for Hundley and then moved Pablo Sandoval over to first in the next inning, with Calixte at third. He didn’t second-guess that decision.

“He was out pretty easily,” Bochy said. “I don’t know if a little more speed would have helped out.”

--- In the bottom of the ninth, Kelby Tomlinson singled. He was promptly caught stealing second with the heart of the order coming up. Again, a decision that went the visiting team’s way. 

Those moments could be defended or second-guessed. On another night, maybe they all work out and the Giants win 3-2, or 6-4. On this night, it was simply a familiar script, and loss No. 77.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-3 loss to Brewers

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-3 loss to Brewers

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — Just when it seemed the Giants were starting to find some continuity in their bullpen, they have taken a couple of steps back. 

Two days after Hunter Strickland imploded late, Albert Suarez gave up the lead. The Giants lost 4-3 to the Brewers in a game that dragged. The Brewers did open the window a bit in the bottom of the eighth and Denard Span bounced a single to right with two outs and two on. Phil Nevin waved Nick Hundley all the way around third and Hundley was thrown out by 10 feet to end the inning. 

Anyway, here are five other things to know … 

—- Just one of Jeff Samardzija’s six innings went 1-2-3, and Bruce Bochy turned to the bullpen after just 89 pitches. Samardzija was charged with two runs, one of them earned. It was a little odd that he came out so early. 

—- Suarez entered in the seventh with a one-run lead and gave up two runs before being lifted. He has allowed a run in six of his last seven appearances. 

—- Brandon Crawford momentarily gave the Giants the lead with a two-run homer, his 11th. He is definitely starting to hit his stride. Crawford has four extra base hits and six RBI on the homestand. 

—- Why is it so hard for the Giants to sign power bats? Well, just ask Eric Thames. He hit a 433-foot blast to lead off the third but ended up with just a triple when it bounced off the top of the bricks in right-center. Per Statcast data, Thames is the first player in the last three years to hit a ball more than 430 feet and not get a homer. He was stranded at third. 

—- Over in Sacramento, a couple of rehab appearances went as planned. Johnny Cueto threw three scoreless innings for the River Cats; he will make at least one more minor league start. Joe Panik was 0-for-2 in five innings; he will join the San Jose Giants on Wednesday for another rehab game.