Bumgarner still finding groove,but confident with new outfield 

click to enlarge Letting it fly: Madison Bumgarner had four strikeouts Tuesday, but the Giants still came up short in a 5-4 loss to the Cubs. - JAKE ROTH/US PRESSWIRE
  • Jake Roth/US Presswire
  • Letting it fly: Madison Bumgarner had four strikeouts Tuesday, but the Giants still came up short in a 5-4 loss to the Cubs.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Madison Bumgarner still has some tuning up to do.

“That’s what spring training is for,” said the 22-year-old lefty, still the youngest pitcher in camp.

Bumgarner hadn’t had much trouble in his three short outings going into Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs, but he took the loss as the Giants fell 5-4 in the teams’ first meeting this spring.

The Cubs scored their first run off Bumgarner in the third when former A’s outfielder David DeJesus drove a double to deep center field over Angel Pagan, who nearly flagged it down.

“I thought he might have a chance to catch it,” said Bumgarner, who said he feels confident with the new outfield behind him.

He allowed three runs in four innings of work, seeing his Cactus League ERA rise to 3.72 in 9²⁄³ innings total.

“I got behind a little bit and gave in, but I made some good pitches, too,” said Bumgarner who notched four strikeouts on the day, fooling some hitters badly.

Pagan got the Giants on the scoreboard in the fifth inning with a triple that scored Brandon Crawford from first base.

Tuesday’s starting lineup was close to the projected Opening Day lineup, with the exception of Brandon Belt playing in right field. Belt, a natural first baseman has played left field a handful of times, but only started in right field once in 2011 during the regular season. Belt wasn’t challenged too much defensively except by Alfonso Soriano, who decided to test Belt’s arm by stretching a single into a double. Belt’s throw short-hopped to second and Soriano slid in safely.

“He should have been out,” said manager Bruce Bochy, who indicated Belt won’t see much more time in right field, and was only in there to give Nate Schierholtz a break, who is day-to-day with a bruised hip.

Giants catcher Buster Posey went hitless in a pair of at-bats in his third start, making him 0-for-5 this spring. Posey is reportedly going to hit out of the designated hitter spot today, giving him some time to work on his swing while resting his mending ankle from the rigors of squatting behind home plate.


NOTES: Former Giants left fielder Pat Burrell made an appearance at batting practice Tuesday. He chatted it up with Bochy and shook hands with team president Larry Baer. Baer joked about the lack of security at the park that allowed the two-time World Series champ onto the field. ... Bumgarner was able to reunite with batterymate Posey in a game for the first time this spring, something Bumgarner said felt good. ... Following Monday’s game against the Kansas City Royals, the Giants reassigned catchers Andrew Susac, Tommy Joseph and first-round draft pick shortstop Joe Panik to minor-league camp. ... Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hit his first home run of the spring, crushing Sergio Romo’s 1-2 pitch to right field.

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Curtis Steudeman

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