SAN FRANCISCO -- Left-hander Sean Manaea restored order to the A's pitching staff, working four perfect innings in Oakland's 3-0 exhibition loss Thursday night to the San Francisco Giants.One day after the A's allowed 15 runs to the World Series champion Chicago Cubs, Manaea, Oakland's projected No. 2 starter, retired
SAN FRANCISCO -- Left-hander Sean Manaea restored order to the A's pitching staff, working four perfect innings in Oakland's 3-0 exhibition loss Thursday night to the San Francisco Giants.
One day after the A's allowed 15 runs to the World Series champion Chicago Cubs, Manaea, Oakland's projected No. 2 starter, retired all 12 batters he faced. Denard Span and Brandon Belt, the Giants' first two batters of the game, smacked warning-track fly balls, and Chris Marrero yanked a second-inning drive to deep left field that hooked foul. Otherwise, the Giants didn't come close to mustering a hit off Manaea.
"Today was a good indicator of where I'm at," Manaea said. "Mentally, physically, everything's feeling really good. So, happy with how spring ended and just want to take it into Opening Day."
Manaea wrapped up Spring Training with a 1-1 record and 3.91 ERA in six starts, allowing 23 hits and 10 walks in 23 innings while striking out 17. The 25-year-old southpaw said he's looking forward to getting back on the mound in a regular-season atmosphere, adding he accomplished everything he wanted to during Spring Training. He's scheduled to make his season debut Tuesday against the Angels.
"Came into spring and I just wanted to be more consistent with everything -- mechanics, changeup, slider," Manaea said. "I felt like I definitely accomplished that. It was a little rough at the beginning, but the past two or three starts have been right where I wanted to be. Today, everything just came together."
Marrero doubled into the right-field corner off A's reliever John Axford with two outs in the fifth inning for the Giants' first hit.
Giants starter Johnny Cueto lasted five innings and allowed six hits. Oakland launched its most serious scoring threat against Cueto in his final inning, but the right-hander coaxed a comebacker from Matt Joyce to strand runners on second and third.
"It didn't feel like a Spring Training game," Cueto said. "It felt like it was already the regular season. I guess it has to do with the fans out there. They're always really good in San Francisco."
Cueto revealed that he had a blister on his right middle finger, which he soaked in a tiny plastic container of ointment as he spoke with reporters. He insisted the blister wasn't serious.
The Giants shattered a scoreless tie in the seventh. Belt singled leading off against Daniel Coulombe, who was relieved by Liam Hendriks. Belt advanced to third base on Buster Posey's single and scored on Brandon Crawford's single. Conor Gillaspie's single loaded the bases, setting up Eduardo Nunez's run-scoring bloop single and Joe Panik's sacrifice fly.
A's Up Next: Rookie righty Jharel Cotton will make his final spring tuneup in Friday's 7:05 p.m. PT matchup against the Giants (free on MLB.TV), before joining Oakland's Opening Day rotation as the No. 3 starter. The A's will also be monitoring the progress of outfielder Khris Davis (quad) and third baseman Trevor Plouffe (abductor muscle), who are optimistic to get some playing time before Monday's opener.
Giants Up Next: While right-hander Jeff Samardzija starts Game 2 of the Bay Bridge on Saturday against the A's (free on MLB.TV), much of the Giants' attention will focus on Nunez, who's expected to play five innings at shortstop. Manager Bruce Bochy needs an occasional substitute for Crawford; this will be Nunez's tryout.
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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the A's on Thursday.
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.