Cain finishes strong in Giants' loss

Cain finishes strong in Giants' loss

A'S 14, GIANTS 3
at McAfee Coliseum, Oakland
Saturday, April 1

A's at the plate: The A's jumped all over Giants rookie Matt Cain in the first inning to take a 4-1 lead after four batters. Mark Kotsay led off with a walk, Nick Swisher followed with his third homer of the spring, Bobby Crosby doubled and Eric Chavez hit his sixth homer. Frank Thomas, who homered in his second at-bat in front of A's fans in Phoenix last week, did the same thing for the fans in Oakland with a rocket to left on which left fielder Barry Bonds didn't even move. Chavez picked up his team-high 18th RBI of the spring with a double in the sixth. Bobby Kielty's single in the sixth made it 7-1. An RBI double by Swisher, an RBI single by Antonio Perez and an RBI double by pinch-hitter John Baker made it 10-1 in the seventh. Richie Robnett bounced a two-run double over the center-field fence, Scott McClain hit a sacrifice fly, and Baker had an RBI groundout in the eighth to close the scoring for Oakland.

Giants at the plate: Steve Finley got the Giants off to a good start with a two-out solo homer off A's starter Esteban Loaiza in the top of the first inning. Bonds, who batted cleanup, lined out to right field twice, grounded out hard to first base and flew out to left in his first full game of the spring. Ray Durham singled in a run in the ninth.

A's on the mound: Loaiza, who missed a significant chunk of camp while playing for Mexico in the inaugural World Baseball Classic, had his best start of the spring. He retired 10 in a row and 14 of 15 after Finley's homer and finished with a line of one run on three hits and a walk with one strikeout over six innings. Righty Kirk Saarloos was perfect in the seventh, righty Kiko Calero was charged with a run in the eighth when Justin Duchscherer allowed an inherited runner to score, and righty Huston Street gave up a run on two hits in the ninth.

Giants on the mound: Cain bounced back from his rough first inning by retiring 15 of 16 after Chavez's homer. His line was four runs on five hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. Lefty Jeff Fassero got knocked around in his only inning of work, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk in the sixth. The walk came to start the frame. Righty Tim Worrell gave up three runs on three doubles and a single in the seventh. Closer Armando Benitez walked the leadoff man in the eighth and gave up two singles, a double, a sacrifice fly, a walk, a hit-by-pitch and an RBI groundout to the next seven batters.

Cactus League records: A's 13-17; Giants 13-15-1.

Up next: Righty Joe Blanton, 1-3 with a 7.16 ERA this spring, gets his final tuneup for the regular season Sunday when he starts for the visiting A's at AT&T Park in the series finale. The Giants will counter with righty Jamey Wright (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

Mychael Urban is a national writer for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.