Giants fans tuned Monday night to watch Johnny Cueto pitch after he was hit hard in his first spring start.
In his second spring start, Cueto got hit hard …. In the head.
Cueto’s first pitch Monday night was sent right back at him by Oakland’s Billy Burns. The liner hit Cueto in the forehead, rebounded over the second baseman’s glove into shallow right-center for a leadoff double.
Cueto dropped to all fours, then looked out to the outfield rubbing his forehead, as manager Bruce Bochy and the medical staff raced out to check on him.
“There’s nothing that scares me more than that, that line drive up the middle,” Bochy said. “First night game, first pitch of the game. I was up as soon as it touched him, and I’m hoping it was what it was, more of a glancing blow. Still, it caught him pretty good.”
Cueto quickly got on his feet and told trainers he was fine and wanted to continue.
When play resumed, Cueto appeared confused when he started after a dribbler between the mound and first base off the bat of the next hitter Mark Canha. But then he backed off thinking first baseman Brandon Belt would field the ball. The play went for an infield single.
Josh Reddick followed that with a long three-run home run.
Cueto got out of the rest of the inning with a strikeout and two infield grounders.
He allowed just an infield single in the second. In the third, he gave up a double and a walk, finishing with 38 pitches. After Reddick’s home run, Reddick’s double in the third was the only ball to leave the infield.
Bochy said Cueto will be monitored for concussions symptoms over the next few days, but was only treated for the contusion.
“He was fine out there,” Bochy said. “He answered all the questions. He wanted to stay out there. … Guess it shows how tough he is, in a Spring Training game.”