SAN FRANCISCO — Jeff Samardzija retired 15 consecutive batters after allowing a triple on his third pitch of the game, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Oakland Athletics 3-1 on Thursday night.
Buster Posey had three hits, including an RBI double in the fifth. Brandon Crawford and Ehire Adrianza also drove in runs for San Francisco, and all three runs scored with two outs.
Samardzija was sharp in his final tuneup of the spring while working five crisp innings. He struck out five, didn’t walk anyone and allowed only three balls out of the infield over his final four innings. Samardzija has allowed only two runs over his last 11 innings and hasn’t walked a batter since March 16.
“I pound the zone and there’s no walks; for me that’s my game plan,” Samardzija said. “When you don’t walk anyone it’s kind of just up to where that ball goes. As long as you’re making your good pitches you’re probably going to get a lot of outs.”
Stephen Vogt doubled in Billy Butler in the seventh for Oakland’s only run. The A’s have lost four straight.
The A’s used Chris Coughlin at DH even though the game was in an NL park, though it took a little gift from Oakland manager Bob Melvin to make it happen— a bottle of wine that he sent to Giants skipper Bruce Bochy.
“He bribes me a little bit,” Bochy joked. “I’ll leave it at that.”
Bochy opted to let his pitchers hit and is considering doing it even when the series moves to Oakland on Saturday. He’s also considering having the pitcher hit eighth in the batting order, something he’s toyed with in spring training while having former leadoff hitter Angel Pagan bat ninth.
“I’m going to keeping thinking about it,” Bochy said. “It gives me two leadoff hitters there. Frees up Pagan to run like he’s been doing.”
Having already secured the No. 3 spot in Oakland’s rotation, Chris Bassitt was trying to fine-tune things in his final spring start and was mostly successful while giving up one run and three hits over four innings.
“I’m glad to get out of Arizona,” Bassitt said. “Nothing moves like the way you want to. You get out here, its’s so different. You wonder where’s this been the whole time. It was a nice little tuneup, ready for the season kind of thing.”
Samardzija looked much sharper than he did earlier in the spring after giving up a triple to Billy Burns on a hanging slider. His delivery was smooth and he stayed ahead of hitters most of the game.
“Another really impressive start,” Bochy said. “He had good stuff, good tempo and really commanded all of his pitches.”