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Romo promises to be honest about arm

Giants closer gets heavy work in World Baseball Classic opener


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Manager Bruce Bochy related that Sergio Romo vowed to be frank about the condition of his right arm Friday, 24 hours after the Giants right-hander yielded two ninth-inning runs in Mexico's 6-5 World Baseball Classic loss to Italy.

Romo, performing in the closer's role that he holds with the Giants, threw 26 pitches against Italy, four fewer than the 30-pitch daily limit that governs relievers. Privately, this upset Giants coaches and officials, since Romo -- or any pitcher -- could be vulnerable to injury due to a heavy workload at this early juncture of the baseball calendar.

But Bochy sounded calm after contacting Romo, who remained eligible to pitch in Mexico's game Friday night against the United States.

"He says his arm's doing fine," Bochy said. "He'll play catch [before the game] and be honest where he is. If he doesn't think he should be out there, he's going to say something. It's hard to tell until you throw."

Asked how he felt about Romo's blown save, Bochy replied, "You don't like to see it. Does it concern me? No. He was ready when he left here. As I said earlier, we were vigilant with these guys being ready to go at game speed in this World Baseball Classic."

After all, Bochy added, "You got a guy's career [at stake] here if he doesn't feel right."

Had Romo flung four more pitches, he would have been ordered to rest Friday night.

"To be honest, I wouldn't have minded if he threw four more," Bochy acknowledged.

Predictably, Romo's inability to preserve Mexico's lead bothered him.

"His pride's been hurt a little bit," Bochy said. "He's a competitor and he's pitching for his country."

Romo threw more than 26 pitches only once during 2012. That was in his initial appearance of the season, April 8 at Arizona, where he logged 27 pitches.

In his remaining 68 regular-season outings, Romo threw as many as 21 pitches just twice -- Aug. 5 at Colorado and Sept. 15 at Arizona. He threw 35 pitches while saving Game 5 of the National League Championship Series at Cincinnati, an effort which included his memorable 12-pitch confrontation with Jay Bruce.

Romo then rested three days before his first NL Championship Series appearance and never threw more than 21 pitches in any of his final seven postseason outings.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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