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03/18/11 10:16 PM ET

Final pitching spot still up for grabs

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Though three of the four candidates for the 12th and final spot on the Giants' pitching staff appeared in Friday's 6-3 exhibition setback against the Los Angeles Dodgers, none clearly forging ahead in the competition.

Moreover, results may not be conclusive until shortly before the Giants open the season March 31 at Los Angeles.

"It's going to go down to the last couple of days," said manager Bruce Bochy, who's searching for a long reliever/spot starter in a group consisting of Jeff Suppan, Ryan Vogelsong, Guillermo Mota and Dan Runzler.

Suppan started against the Dodgers and yielded two runs and seven hits in four innings. That represented a considerable improvement over his outing against Milwaukee last Monday, when he allowed six runs (five earned) in one-plus inning.

"I still have a few things to tweak," he said. "I'm not going to overanalyze it. I just go out and play."

Vogelsong absorbed the decision by yielding a pair of seventh-inning runs over his three innings, but felt satisfied with his performance. "I threw some good pitches," he said. "They just found some holes."

Unable to keep his pitches down, Mota yielded ninth-inning homers to Hector Gimenez and Xavier Paul.

Runzler is expected to be among Saturday's pitchers against Kansas City.

Cain 'feels good' after another outing

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants pitcher Matt Cain continued to put his bout with elbow inflammation farther behind him as he threw freely in an exhibition game Friday against an Arizona Diamondbacks Triple-A squad.

Cain threw 63 pitches in four innings and yielded a pair of unearned runs. "Everything feels good," repeated Cain, who expects to return to Cactus League competition on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels.

The right-hander then would make one more exhibition start before pitching the third game of the regular season, April 2 at at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Huff to see action in left field

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Manager Bruce Bochy said Friday that first baseman Aubrey Huff will appear in left field before the Giants break camp in Arizona on March 27.

Huff provided flexibility last year by starting 24 games in left field and 33 in right. Many of these appearances occurred before Buster Posey became the everyday catcher and ceased playing first base.

Of course, Huff, who's entering the first year of a two-year, $22 million contract, likely would play left if rookie Brandon Belt makes the team and occupies first. Belt grounded out in a ninth-inning pinch-hit appearance against the Dodgers on Friday, dropping his spring batting average to .277.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.