3/21/2014 2:01 A.M. ET
Morse homers in Minors game, feels 'awesome'
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Aside from Marco Scutaro's persistent back problems, some of the Giants' health-related developments Thursday were encouraging.
Left fielder Michael Morse, who hadn't played since March 12 while nursing a troublesome right calf, played six innings in a Minor League exhibition against a Rockies affiliate and homered once in four at-bats.
"Today I felt great. Awesome," Morse said. "I didn't feel anything [in the calf]."
Center fielder Angel Pagan, who has been sidelined more often than not with an ailing lower back, played in the same game and, according to Morse, looked fit as he ran down two drives. Morse dutifully reported that Pagan did not record a hit but put pitches in play and worked counts, as a leadoff batter should.
Morse, who has played in eight of San Francisco's 22 Cactus League exhibitions, insisted that he'll play Friday against the Oakland A's. He believes that his careful approach this spring will sustain him once games start counting.
"At this point, I think it's better to be cautious," Morse said. "I would hate to have something linger at the start of the season."
Bumgarner dominant, extends shutout streak
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Finally, Madison Bumgarner refused to find fault with himself.
Bumgarner, whose perfectionism prompted him toward varying degrees of self-criticism after previous spring efforts, had to admit that he was pretty darned good Thursday night in the Giants' 11-3 victory over the Padres.
The Giants left-hander appeared more than primed for his Opening Night start March 31 against the D-backs. Bumgarner yielded five hits and walked one in seven shutout innings, extending his Cactus League scoreless streak to 17 innings. In that body of work, the 24-year-old has allowed 10 hits while walking two and striking out 16.
"Today, I felt pretty close to ready, really," Bumgarner said after throwing 67 strikes in 97 pitches. "Everything felt good."
That included Bumgarner's curveball, which he flung past the Padres at varying speeds to keep them off-balance. Bumgarner struck out nine, including five to conclude innings -- a fine way to accent a dominant pitching performance.
Bumgarner emphasized that he's not preoccupied with his 0.00 ERA. "I'm not paying attention to that," he said. "Making pitches is my main goal."
Cain to face Minor Leaguers; Petit tabbed vs. A's
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Cain, the Giants' No. 2 starter, will continue tuning up for the regular season by pitching in a Minor League exhibition Friday instead of the Cactus League showdown against the Oakland A's that's scheduled for 6:35 p.m. PT.
Manager Bruce Bochy emphasized that the assignments should not be interpreted ominously in any way. Cain, Bochy said, is fully healthy. The Giants mainly wanted to give Cain an early workday instead of having him stew all afternoon.
Moreover, Bochy said that the Giants' brass wanted to see Yusmeiro Petit start another big league exhibition. The Giants also need to find some innings for David Huff, who's competing against Petit and Kameron Loe for the long-relief role. Petit is 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA in five outings (one start) this spring. Huff has no record and a 2.25 ERA (one run allowed in four innings) in three games, while Loe is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA (three earned runs in eight innings) in five appearances.
Petit, who began camp as the leading candidate to claim the long-relief role, finished 4-1 in a late-season rotation stint last year.