Ventura, Davis deliver mixed results in loss to Giants
Right-handers combine for five strikeouts over six innings, but allow three runs
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Hunter Pence and Mark Minicozzi belted home runs and Tim Lincecum reeled off three scoreless innings as the Giants defeated the Royals, 5-0, in a Cactus League game on Friday at Surprise Stadium.
Norichika Aoki led off the Royals' first inning against Lincecum with a double down the left-field line, but was thrown out trying to steal third. Later Alex Gordon singled for the other hit off Lincecum, who threw his slider for the first time this spring.
"My curveball felt good, I threw a few sliders in for first pitches -- and that was a pitch that it didn't take too long to get the feel for," Lincecum said.
The Giants took a 2-0 lead against hard-throwing right-hander Yordano Ventura, who walked Michael Morris and gave up a single to Hector Sanchez to start the second. Morse scored on Joaquin Arias' sacrifice fly.
Gregor Blanco opened the Giants' third with a double to deep center and scored on Tony Abreu's single.
"Even though I gave up two runs, I felt like I threw a lot of good pitches," Ventura said through translator Bruce Chen. "My arm felt very good and my offspeed pitches were working very well.
Right-hander Wade Davis, competing with Ventura for the fifth starting spot, took over in the fourth. In his three innings, he gave up one run -- Pence's homer to center, his first.
Minicozzi hit 6-foot-11 Jon Rauch's first pitch of the ninth inning into the right-field bullpen. It was Minicozzi's second this spring.
Following Lincecum to the mound were Brett Bochy with one scoreless inning, Kameron Loe with two and Derek Law with one.
Erik Cordier added a scoreless eighth inning despite walking the bases loaded. He got the third out by slipping a third strike past Johnny Giavotella.
Right-hander George Kontos finished the shutout with a perfect ninth inning.
Up next: Left-hander John Lamb, who showed improved velocity in his first spring outing, will start for the Royals against the Brewers at 2:05 p.m. CT on Saturday at Maryvale Stadium. Also scheduled to pitch are Kelvin Herrera, Aaron Crow, Sugar Ray Marimon, Everett Teaford, Francisley Bueno and Louis Coleman. If Coleman pitches, it'll be his first appearance; he's been nursing a jammed middle finger on his right hand. The Brewers' pitchers will include Marco Estrada and Jim Henderson. The game can be heard on an exclusive webcast on Royals.com.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.