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Kontos, Runzler sent down as 'pen takes shape

Kontos, Runzler sent down as 'pen takes shape

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants virtually finalized the composition of their season-opening bullpen Sunday when they jettisoned left-hander Dan Runzler and right-hander George Kontos from their spring roster.

That left five relievers competing for what's likely to be three openings: right-handers J.C. Gutierrez, Jean Machi, Yusmiero Petit and Derek Law, as well as left-hander David Huff. Veterans Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo have clinched spots on the team.

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Petit, Huff and Machi appear to have the edge over Gutierrez, a non-roster invitee, and Law, a rookie who yielded two runs in one-third of an inning in Sunday's 13-9 exhibition triumph over Kansas City.

Noticeably peeved when he was demoted last year, Runzler was much calmer this time. He could take solace in his Cactus League performance, which featured a 2.70 ERA and seven strikeouts in seven appearances.

"I'm happy with how I kept my emotions in check," said Runzler, who officially was reassigned to Minor League camp. "This is stuff I can't control."

Kontos, who made 96 appearances for the Giants during the previous two seasons, was optioned to Minor League camp with a 3.00 ERA in seven games.

Machi has been relatively consistent, though the walkoff homer he allowed last Monday against the Angels ballooned his ERA to 6.00. He has four Cactus League saves in five opportunities.

Petit and Huff have been competing for a long-relief role. It now seems more likely that Huff, who looked impressive in three perfect innings last Friday against Oakland, will be used in a variety of roles if he makes the Opening Night squad.

Combined with infielder Tony Abreu's release earlier Sunday, the Giants have 29 players left in camp, four over the season-opening limit.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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