GAUS­MAN DE­BUTS IN LOSS TO WHITE SOX

Right-handed pitcher tosses 2 score­less in­nings for Giants; San­doval to play Fri­day

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - SPORTS - By Kerry Crow­ley

GLENDALE, ARIZ. >> Fe­bru­ary isn’t a month in which dra­matic walk-offs dom­i­nate the high­light reels, but the Giants and White Sox pro­vided some late in­trigue any­way on Tues­day.

With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, White Sox bat­ter Seby Zavala drilled a sin­gle up the mid­dle to cen­ter fielder He­liot Ramos. The Giants’ No. 2 prospect gath­ered

the ball and un­corked a strong throw to the plate, but it reached catcher Tyler Heine­man’s glove a split-sec­ond too late.

A nicely-ex­e­cuted slide from White Sox out­fielder Adam En­gel led Chicago to a 4-3 win and dropped the Giants to 2-2 in Cac­tus League play, but the team has more im­por­tant things to worry about than plays at the plate at this point in the year.

Man­ager Gabe Kapler said postgame that in­fielder Pablo San­doval will make his spring de­but on Fri­day night at Scotts­dale Sta­dium as a Giants split-squad lineup hosts the Rock­ies. His first at-bats will come fewer than seven months af­ter un­der­go­ing sea­so­nend­ing Tommy John surgery and while the Giants aren’t sure when

San­doval will be ready to ap­pear in the field, he’s al­ready play­ing catch and ahead of sched­ule in his re­cov­ery process.

The switch-hit­ting San­doval is healthy enough to hit from both sides of the plate and will play re­gard­less of who starts on the mound for Colorado on Fri­day. The Giants will send an­other player au­thor­ing a Tommy John come­back story to the mound against the Rock­ies as Kapler con­firmed Johnny

Cueto will start at Scotts­dale Sta­dium.

Vet­eran Jeff Sa­mardz­ija is lined up to pitch Wed­nes­day at home against the Brew­ers while Tyler Beede and Lo­gan Webb will both pitch on Thurs­day in Peo­ria against the Mariners.

The Giants will be­gin cy­cling through the ro­ta­tion again on Fri­day as Dereck Ro­dríguez and An­drew Suárez will face the Roy­als in a split-squad in Sur­prise.

Kapler said the Giants don’t have a tar­get date set for when vet­eran free-agent signee Hunter Pence will ap­pear in his first game, but in­di­cated the team is look­ing at find­ing a place for Pence in a lineup early next week. GAUS­MAN SPLITS WHITE SOX >> The player with the rich­est con­tract Farhan Zaidi has given to a Giants player made his Cac­tus League de­but on Tues­day

at Camel­back Ranch.

Starter Kevin Gaus­man, who signed a one-year, $9 mil­lion deal dur­ing the Win­ter Meet­ings, worked two strong in­nings against a White Sox lineup fea­tur­ing reg­u­lars in­clud­ing short­stop Tim An­der­son, out­field phe­nom Eloy Jimenez and first base­man José Abreu. Gaus­man con­sis­tently hit 94 miles per hour with his fast­ball, touched 96 on the radar gun and mixed in heavy us­age of his split­ter, which is the right-han­der’s pri­mary sec­ondary pitch.

“Whether it’s 92 some days or 96-97 some days, it

just de­pends to be hon­est,” Gaus­man said. “But more than any­thing, I feel good, I’ll wake up to­mor­row and feel good and it’s a pro­gres­sion in spring train­ing.”

De­spite strug­gling a bit with his com­mand of his split­ter, Gaus­man got some ugly swings on the pitch, which he threw 41 per­cent of the time last sea­son.

Gaus­man used to throw a slider along with his fourseamer and split­ter, but Stat­cast data in­di­cated he prac­ti­cally aban­doned the pitch dur­ing a stint in the Cincin­nati Reds’ bullpen. With guid­ance from pitch­ing coach An­drew Bai­ley, Gaus­man said he’s throw­ing his slider again and be­lieves it can be an ef­fec­tive of­fer­ing for him this year.

“I threw some re­ally good ones to­day and that’s one thing I’ve been work­ing on with Bai­ley and all of those guys,” Gaus­man said. “I got a ground­ball out of it to­day and threw a cou­ple of strikes and so no dam­age was done.”

RANDY VAZQUEZ — BAY AREA NEWS GROUP

The Giants’ Kevin Gaus­man throws a pitch dur­ing the first in­ning against the White Sox at Camel­back Ranch in Phoenix, Ariz., on Tues­day.

RANDY VAZQUEZ — BAY AREA NEWS GROUP

The Giants’ Alex Dickerson fouls a ball dur­ing the first in­ning of his team’s Cac­tus League game ver­sus the White Sox at Camel­back Ranch in Phoenix on Tues­day.

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