SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jeff Samardzija's pitching line was filled with crooked numbers, as baseball people like to call digits other than one or zero. San Francisco's No. 3 starter, who's prone to yielding home runs, coughed up three of them -- all in the third inning -- in Friday's 10-7
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jeff Samardzija's pitching line was filled with crooked numbers, as baseball people like to call digits other than one or zero. San Francisco's No. 3 starter, who's prone to yielding home runs, coughed up three of them -- all in the third inning -- in Friday's 10-7 Cactus League victory over the Mariners at Scottsdale Stadium.
However, only one of the homers -- Dee Gordon's two-run clout -- appeared to be a legitimate round-tripper. The others were products of the Arizona environment, where medium-deep fly balls receive added propulsion from the dry sky and occasional wind.
Was Samardzija vulnerable? Yes. Was he disappointed? No way.
Samardzija continued to refine his curveball and changeup while surrendering five runs on six hits in four innings. The right-hander remained optimistic about his new deliveries, convinced that they'll help him over the long haul.
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"I think I threw some pretty good pitches," said Samardzija, who hiked his pitch count to 50 and flung 14 more in the bullpen to increase his stamina after being removed from the game.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy applauded Samardzija's approach.
"I want these guys working on something that's going to make them a better player or pitcher," Bochy said.
The Giants' hopes of using their projected starting lineup against left-handed pitching evaporated when they had to scratch third baseman Evan Longoria, who complained of left ankle stiffness.
Bochy indicated that the injury wasn't serious and said that Longoria should resume game activity in a day or two.
Posey, Crawford could renew running rivalry
Buster Posey spent a lot of time on the basepaths during his 3-for-3 effort, prompting one reporter to ask him whether he planned to renew his stolen base competition with shortstop Brandon Crawford. Posey emerged triumphant last season, stealing six bases to Crawford's three.
"The way he's running bases, it shouldn't be that hard," Posey said. "He'll read that, so somebody write it."
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.