SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — San Francisco newcomer Johnny Cueto gave up five runs over 1 1-3 innings of his spring debut, and Carlos Gonzalez homered to help the Colorado Rockies beat the Giants 8-6 Wednesday.
Cueto, who left the World Series champion Kansas City Royals and signed a six-year, $130 million free agent deal, faced nine batters and recorded four outs. He gave up Gonzalez’s two-run homer, walked one and struck out two.
“Obviously he didn’t feel good. We all had good at-bats against him,” Gonzalez said. “I couldn’t tell. I only saw one pitch and I was ready to hit.”
Gerardo Parra drove in a pair of runs, Mark Reynolds tripled, singled and drove in a run and Nolan Arenado added an RBI single for the Rockies.
“We can hit,” Gonzalez said. “We’ll put runs on the board. I like the way we look so far. Everybody goes out there with energy.”
Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford played in the field for the first time this spring. He also doubled.
Rockies: RHP Eddie Butler is in a much better state of mind this spring and it’s already making a difference.
“It’s something I talked about with the coaching staff and that’s keeping my emotions under control and attacking hitters,” Butler said after working three scoreless innings, allowing two hits, walking one and striking out one. “That’s been my main thing this spring. I fell behind way too many batters last year and walked way too many.”
Gonzalez sees the difference after two spring starts.
“He has the tools and he has good pitches,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a matter of time and confidence. He needs a second chance to feel more comfortable and to battle on every pitch. He’s showing life and he’s working at it.”
Giants: Cueto said he felt relaxed in the first appearance with his new team despite giving up so many runs.
“It felt good to be in front of the fans,” Cueto said. “It’s a normal thing. There’s nothing to be nervous about. There were a few mistakes and the ball was not breaking the way I wanted it to. But that’s what spring training is for.”
Cueto used his hesitation pitch during the at bat against D.J. LeMahieu, whom he ended up walking.
“I smiled because he hit a good pitch and because I like to have fun,” Cueto said. “I never saw Luis Tiant pitch. I did it on my own. I kept experimenting with it and have been throwing it about three years.”
Rockies: LHP Tyler Matzek continues his struggle with performance anxiety. He was scratched from a ‘B’ game start recently and his next appearance has yet to be scheduled. The team announced the hiring of Dr. Rick Perea, a former NFL player and current psychologist, as its mental skills coach, with Matzek his primary student. ... RHP Jairo Diaz will likely miss the season due to Tommy John surgery.
Giants: RHP Santiago Casilla will throw one more bullpen session before making his spring debut. ... RHP Sergio Romo is expected to throw two more bullpens before pitching in a game.
Rockies: LHP Jorge De La Rosa will make the start at Talking Stick on Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds and starter LHP Brandon Finnegan.
Giants: RHP Chris Stratton starts Thursday when San Francisco travels to Maryvale to take on RHP Jimmy Nelson and the Milwaukee Brewers.