MLB: Suppan sharp against former team
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Jeff Suppan is facing a whole new situation, and a couple of outings against one of his former teams have helped his case for a starting job with the San Francisco Giants.
Suppan pitched three scoreless innings against Milwaukee for the second time this spring, and rookie Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer Friday to lead a split squad of Giants to a 7-2 victory over the Brewers.
“Suppan did a nice job,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said before traveling to nearby Glendale for the other split-squad game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. “He had good control and was pumping that strike zone, throwing quality strikes.”
Suppan retired nine straight batters, allowing one hit – to Erick Almonte in the first – and striking out two in his first exhibition start. His previous appearance against the Brewers was in relief on Feb. 28.
Suppan, who has a career record of 138-143, said this is the first time since early in his career with Boston that he has not been assured of a starting spot. He is competing for the No. 5 slot in the Giants’ rotation.
The 36-year-old right-hander worked a lot on his sinker on Friday.
“The movement was there, although I was underneath it,” he said. “Location is the key. Some I thought were good, some not so good.”
Suppan agreed to a minor league deal with the World Series champion Giants in January. He went 3-8 with a 5.06 ERA in 15 starts and 30 appearances last season with Milwaukee and St. Louis.
Belt, projected as a future starting first baseman, hit his first homer of spring training in a five-run first, a drove off sidearming right-hander Tim Dillard. Belt also singled in the third.
Rangers 6, Athletics 3
PHOENIX (AP) – C.J. Wilson is taking his changeup high-tech.
Wilson, who helped Texas reach its first World Series last year in his first year as a starter, pitched three innings Friday in the Rangers’ 6-3 victory over Oakland.
“I wanted to throw three innings in as easy a manner as I could,” Wilson said. “I was working on different things every inning.”
And that includes a different type of changeup that may produce better results. He called it “proprietary technology” and didn’t want to discuss it further.
Wilson allowed five hits, including Kevin Kouzmanoff’s three-run homer, in three innings. Asked what he threw Kouzmanoff, Wilson said “meatballs.”
A’s starter Dallas Braden went three innings, giving up four runs and five hits.
“I’m in that spring training purgatory right now,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, if someone else is pitching better, he gets the job. That’s my mindset.”
Taylor Teagarden hit a two-run homer off Braden in the second. The shot didn’t surprise Braden.
NOTES: A’s RHP Rich Harden (lat tightness) threw 30 pitches at 80 feet and will throw again Saturday. … A’s LHP Craig Breslow and RHP Andrew Bailey each threw to live hitters.