A strange this happened Sunday in the desert. The Giants lost — TWICE!
In their final split-squad games of the spring, the Giants fell 3-2 to the Cubs in 10 innings and 6-4 to the Athletics.
Against Oakland, the Giants struggled to mount much offense against the A’s Brandon McCarthy, who limited the Giants to no runs and three hits through six innings.
But he left the game after Brandon Belt and Ryan Rohlinger collected back-to-back singles to open the eighth. Andres Torres walked to load the bases, and Freddy Sanchez got a run-scoring groundout. Then Aubrey Huff belted a three-run home run.
On the pitching side, Madison Bumgarner had a bumpy outing when he apparently lost focus from a tight strike zone.
Bumgarner set the A’s down in order in the first, thanks to a double-play ball.
But in the second, he opened with back-to-back walks. Then after fielding a comebacker from Ryan Sweeney, he looked to third, then changed his mind and threw wildly to first, allowing two runs to score.
After that, he gave up three consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly to plate two more runs. He ended the innings with strikeouts of Mark Ellis and Daric Barton. Bumgarner then got the hook, making just 40 pitches. No doubt he got in more work in the bullpen.
On a good note, Dan Runzler made a strong case to secure the long reliever spot in the bullpen, throwing three scoreless innings in relief of Bumgarner, striking out three and giving up just one hit.
Against the Cubs, the Giants lineup contained only two potential opening-day starters: Pablo Sandoval (1 for 4) and Pat Burrell (0 for 3).
Even though all the pitchers the Giants threw against the Cubs are not going to be on the opening day roster, they kept the game close before the Cubs won it in the 10th.