Final pitching spot still up for grabs

Final pitching spot still up for grabs

Final pitching spot still up for grabs
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Though three of the four candidates for the 12th and final spot on the Giants' pitching staff appeared in Friday's 6-3 exhibition setback against the Los Angeles Dodgers, none clearly forging ahead in the competition.

Moreover, results may not be conclusive until shortly before the Giants open the season March 31 at Los Angeles.

"It's going to go down to the last couple of days," said manager Bruce Bochy, who's searching for a long reliever/spot starter in a group consisting of Jeff Suppan, Ryan Vogelsong, Guillermo Mota and Dan Runzler.

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Suppan started against the Dodgers and yielded two runs and seven hits in four innings. That represented a considerable improvement over his outing against Milwaukee last Monday, when he allowed six runs (five earned) in one-plus inning.

"I still have a few things to tweak," he said. "I'm not going to overanalyze it. I just go out and play."

Vogelsong absorbed the decision by yielding a pair of seventh-inning runs over his three innings, but felt satisfied with his performance. "I threw some good pitches," he said. "They just found some holes."

Unable to keep his pitches down, Mota yielded ninth-inning homers to Hector Gimenez and Xavier Paul.

Runzler is expected to be among Saturday's pitchers against Kansas City.