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Cueto, Melancon pitch in Minor League game

Giants starter says he'll be 'ready to go' for regular season
MLB.com @alysonfooter

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Two key members of the Giants pitching staff got their work in Wednesday in a Minor League game, hours ahead of the big league team's night game in Peoria.

Right-handed starter Johnny Cueto threw four innings against Indians Minor Leaguers, mostly Class A players, allowing no runs, two hits and no walks with three strikeouts. Cueto threw 70 pitches, 47 for strikes.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Two key members of the Giants pitching staff got their work in Wednesday in a Minor League game, hours ahead of the big league team's night game in Peoria.

Right-handed starter Johnny Cueto threw four innings against Indians Minor Leaguers, mostly Class A players, allowing no runs, two hits and no walks with three strikeouts. Cueto threw 70 pitches, 47 for strikes.

Spring Training information

Closer Mark Melancon followed Cueto with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk and striking out two. Melancon threw 20 pitches, 13 for strikes.

Slated to pitch the second game of the regular season March 30 at Dodger Stadium, Cueto may be just a tick behind his starting mates, having made two official Cactus League starts before this Minor League outing. He'll make two more spring starts, and he anticipates no issues getting his pitch count up to 90 by the time camp breaks.

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"I'll be ready to go," he said.

Cueto's fastball was hitting mostly in the upper 80s against the Indians Minor Leaguers, topping out at around 88 mph. That was by design; this outing was more about precision than power.

"I wasn't focusing on my speed," he said. "I was just working on my different deliveries and my different pitches."

Pitching before a modest audience that consisted of Giants special assistant Felipe Alou, general manager Bobby Evans and a handful of reporters, Cueto breezed through the first two frames, throwing 10 pitches in each. He threw 14 in the third and 22 in his final frame, which included a 10-pitch at-bat by a Tribe prospect.

The game lacked a regular-season feel, but it served its purpose in terms of preparation.

"I know there's a difference," Cueto said. "I know I'm facing younger kids. At the same time, I have to keep telling myself that I'm here to work on my stuff and pitch like a professional that I am."

Combined with his most recent Cactus League outing, Cueto appears to be on the right track. He pitched three scoreless frames with five strikeouts March 8 vs. Seattle in Peoria.

Melancon's appearance in this game was his third outing of the spring. He had logged two Cactus League innings prior to Wednesday.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

San Francisco Giants, Johnny Cueto, Mark Melancon