Kingsport Times News Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Sports

Bonds, Benitez give Giants even more hope for season

March 17th, 2007 1:09 am by Associated Press



With Barry Bonds hitting homers and a healthy Armando Benitez throwing strikes, the San Francisco Giants are starting to get excited about the season.


Bonds hit his fourth home run of spring training Friday and Benitez pitched his third scoreless inning, sending San Francisco to an 11-7 victory over the Colorado Rockies in Scottsdale, Ariz.


"We worked today how it could go," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We're getting ready for the year now."


Bonds' latest home run off Byung-Hyun Kim wasn't nearly as memorable as his previous one. The slugger connected off Kim in their first matchup since Bonds passed Babe Ruth with his 715th homer last May.


With the Rockies hoping to showcase Kim for a potential trade, the Giants battered the right-hander for eight runs in 4 2-3 innings. That drove Kim's spring ERA up to 9.00 in 13 innings.


Randy Winn homered and had three hits for San Francisco, including an RBI single. Omar Vizquel had a bases-loaded triple in the second before Bonds stepped to bat. He hit a high fly to center that carried well and just cleared the fence for his second homer in two games.


"I've seen enough of them. I knew that was going out," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "His ball keeps carrying because he's so strong."


Benitez, working his way back from last season's knee injuries, allowed only a single to Jud Thigpen and ended the game by striking out Jeff Baker.


Even though Baker was the only one of the four batters in the inning expected to be on Colorado's opening-day roster, Benitez had his best control of the spring, throwing his slider consistently for strikes.


After blowing eight save chances last year, when he was booed constantly at home, Benitez hopes a healthy season will show those fans how good he can be.


"They signed me here because they know what I can do. They didn't sign me because of my beautiful face," he said. "Nobody wants to be hurt. I had bad luck."


Even though the team looked into trading Benitez in the offseason, Bochy said he expects the right-hander to be his closer when the season starts.


"There's no point in getting distracted with what happened last year," Bochy said. "That's last year. This is a new year. That's how he has to feel about it. He feels good and he's healthy. That's the biggest part of it."


Giants starter Matt Cain allowed four runs - two earned - and five hits in four innings, lowering his spring ERA to 9.24. He hoped to go five innings but needed 73 pitches to get through four, ending his day early.


"I need to work on putting away hitters quicker so I can lower my pitch count," Cain said.


In other games:



At Kissimmee, Fla., Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer off Woody Williams in the first, but the 40-year-old right-hander followed with four scoreless innings for Houston. New York starter Chien-Ming Wang allowed one run and four hits with three strikeouts and no walks in five innings.



At Lakeland, Fla., Mike Maroth allowed three runs and three hits for Detroit, leaving his ERA at 3.86. He allowed his only runs on a three-run homer by Shane Victorino.


Phillies starter Freddy Garcia yielded five runs and five hits over 4 2-3 innings in his second start. Carlos Guillen hit a solo homer for the Tigers.



At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sidney Ponson took a step toward earning a job on Minnesota's pitching staff by pitching well against his former team. Ponson allowed three hits and an unearned run in four innings.



At St. Petersburg, Fla., Tampa Bay ended a 13-game losing streak - the majors' longest spring training skid since Montreal lost 14 in a row in 1998. James Shields, the Devil Rays' No. 2 starter, gave up two runs and eight hits in five innings.



At Peoria, Ariz., Miguel Batista pitched four solid innings for Seattle, getting nine groundball outs and two double plays. Ichiro Suzuki had an RBI double and Raul Ibanez hit a three-run homer.



At Tempe, Ariz., Milwaukee's Claudio Vargas allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. Los Angeles right-hander Dustin Moseley helped his chances of making the team by pitching 4 2-3 scoreless innings.



At Tucson, Ariz., Chicago White Sox left fielder Scott Podsednik made his spring training debut, while Mark Prior of the crosstown Cubs tried to find his form in a minor league game.


Podsednik went 1-for-2 and made a diving catch in his first major league action since surgery to repair a sports hernia in January. The Cubs had Prior throw in a minor league game to work out some mechanical issues after he was roughed up twice early this spring. He tossed 4 1-3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit while walking two and striking out four.



At Kissimmee, Fla., Mark Redman, making his second start since signing with Atlanta last Friday, gave up three runs in five innings. The Braves scored four runs on eight hits - including five doubles - in four innings against Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter.


Atlanta's Chipper Jones was a late scratch with a sore muscle on his right side. He missed a combined 27 games last season with two stints on the DL for a strained muscle on his left side.



At Jupiter, Fla., Tom Glavine allowed three hits in five scoreless innings and New York reliever Aaron Heilman, who has been bothered by shoulder tendinitis, looked sharp in a scoreless sixth.


Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer for Florida.


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