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San Francisco Giants Spring Training: Zito Struggles, Belt Shines, Giants Win 10-9

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It was a slug-fest at Scottsdale Stadium this afternoon, and it came down to the very last batter to decide a winner.

Despite a bottom of the ninth scare by the Milwaukee Brewers the San Francisco Giants squeaked out a 10-9 victory with catcher Jackson WIlliams throwing out the Brewers’ Thomas Mittlestaedt for the final out of the game.

Barry Zito had a rough time in his first Spring Training outing of the year, walking 5 of the 13 batters he faced as well as 3 hits and 2 earned runs in 1 and 2/3 innings pitched; not exactly the vote of confidence the Giants were looking for from Zito. Zito also shared some words with Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder, who you may remember has beef with Zito, or Zito has beef with him (depends on how it’s construed).

But another veteran, Jeff Suppan, had an excellent outing, pitching a flawless 3 innings allowing no hits or walks while striking out 2 Brewers. The 36 year old Suppan was signed to a Minor League contract and is looking to work his way onto the Giants’ Major League roster. Days like this are going to help his chances significantly.

Mark DeRosa continued his hot Cactus League start with a 5th inning home run that brought his batting average up to .750 in four Spring Training games thus far. Brandon Belt had an impressive day in his first Spring Training start with 4 RBIs, going 3-5 highlighted by a 3 RBI double in the 7th. The Giants scored 6 runs in that inning that included RBIs by youngsters Terry Evans and Francisco Peguero.

Andrew Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News tweeted an astute observation about Pablo Sandoval and his new physique:

Pablo Sandoval dropped almost 40 lbs over the winter. He’ll look even skinnier if he gets on base and stands next to Prince Fielder.

And when he singled in the 3rd inning:

Pablo Sandoval singles. He looks like Kate Moss standing next to Prince.

Gives the rest of us who haven’t seen Pablo in person yet a nice visualization of Kung Fu Panda’s transformation.

The next game for the G-Men is tomorrow against the Chicago Cubs at 12:05 PT (1:05 MT). Tim Lincecum will be getting his second start of Spring Training for San Francisco while Ryan Dempster will get the nod for Chicago.