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Cueto, Melancon have solid live BP sessions

Parker, Williamson both homer vs. Brewers
Special to MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Johnny Cueto and Mark Melancon on Wednesday took another step toward pitching in a Cactus League game.

Both Giants right-handers faced teammates Andrew McCutchen, Austin Jackson and Andres Blanco on a back field at Scottsdale Stadium. It was Cueto's second such session this spring, while the 20-pitch outing marked the first time Melancon faced hitters since September surgery on his forearm.

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PHOENIX -- Johnny Cueto and Mark Melancon on Wednesday took another step toward pitching in a Cactus League game.

Both Giants right-handers faced teammates Andrew McCutchen, Austin Jackson and Andres Blanco on a back field at Scottsdale Stadium. It was Cueto's second such session this spring, while the 20-pitch outing marked the first time Melancon faced hitters since September surgery on his forearm.

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Spring Training information

Both pitchers reported feeling good after the session, according to published reports.

Manager Bruce Bochy liked what he saw.

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"Both were really good. Really good," Bochy said. "I like where they're at. They threw everything and full bore."

Cueto's delivery looked in midseason form. He used the shimmy once or twice and incorporated both delayed and quick pitches in throwing 35 pitches. He even showed off one of his pickoff moves to round out the session.

McCutchen couldn't hold up on one pitch in the dirt in his first "at-bat" vs. Cueto and gave the pitcher quite a look and possibly a few words afterward, all while at least one teammate laughed in left-center field.

The Giants have slowed-played Cueto this spring, after he didn't throw much in the offseason, but he is expected to throw two innings in his 2018 Cactus League debut Saturday against the Rangers.

The Giants haven't said when Melancon will make his debut in a spring game, but the closer likely will throw at least one more live batting-practice session before then. He is expected to be ready for Opening Day.

Position battle

Jarrett Parker, no longer in contention for an everyday job in the Giants outfield and out of Minor League options, slugged a line-drive home run onto the right-field berm in a 10-10 tie with the Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday as he fights for a spot on the Opening Day roster.

The solo shot off Yovani Gallardo was Parker's first of the spring. He is hitting .231 with two RBIs in five spring games.

Mac Williamson, likewise vying for a roster spot though with an option available, cranked a three-run homer to left. Williamson is hitting .308 with two homers and six RBIs.

Head hunter

Bochy twice had to dodge flying bats when the Brewers were hitting.

"It's all about keeping your poise. I didn't have anywhere to go so I ducked," said Bochy, who has mostly been watching from the dugout of late. "I came out to get a break and sure enough. They were doing it on purpose."

There were, of course, jokes about how the bats managed to miss hitting Bochy in the head.

"I'm too pretty. It's an ugly finder," he said before rubbing his face. "This is my money maker. Have to protect it."

Up next

The plan is for shortstop Brandon Crawford to make his spring debut in the field Thursday when the Giants host the Angels at Scottsdale Stadium, live on MLB.TV at 12:05 p.m. PT. The Giants have taken it slow with Crawford thus far --- he served as designated hitter Monday and Wednesday -- allowing him to build up arm strength, but he jammed his right index finger diving back to second base Wednesday.

Jackson also is expected to be in the lineup for the first time this spring. And Buster Posey could be behind the plate as well to catch Chris Stratton, who will look to solidify a spot at the back end of the rotation.

Hunter Pence won't play as he continues to get over the flu.

Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Wednesday.

San Francisco Giants, Johnny Cueto, Mark Melancon, Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson