OAKLAND (AP) — Considering the state of the San Francisco rotation, the Giants were hoping to see something positive from Johnny Cueto.
And Cueto delivered in his final start of spring training.
Cueto pitched into the sixth inning, Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run this spring and the Giants beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 Sunday in the opener of the three-game Bay Bridge exhibition series.
Cueto, who’s had an uneven spring, gave up one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner had surgery on Saturday to have three pins inserted into the broken pinkie on his pitching hand and righty Jeff Samardzija is expected to start the season on the disabled list with a strained right pectoral muscle.
“It hurts to have those guys out of the rotation, but I think that I don’t have to do more, I just have to do what Johnny Cueto is capable of doing, try to help my teammates and try to win games,” Cueto said through a translator.
The 32-year-old righty was 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in his three previous exhibition starts.
“I thought he controlled the ball well today,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He mixed it up, good final start for him before he makes the start in LA.”
The Giants open the season Thursday at Dodger Stadium.
Buster Posey had two hits, including a two-run double off A’s starter Daniel Gossett. Sandoval added a sacrifice fly.
Gossett allowed four runs on five hits and one walk in 3 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old righty made his fifth appearance and first start of the spring.
“I thought his stuff was good,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “He just didn’t have what we saw during regular spring training. Just didn’t throw enough strikes out today and didn’t get ahead.”
Giants center fielder Steven Duggar robbed Matt Joyce of a two-run homer in the third. The 24-year-old, who’s competing for a roster spot, reached over the wall near the 400-foot sign to make the catch.
A’s reliever Yusmeiro Petit pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief as he extended his streak of consecutive innings without allowing a walk this spring to 11. The 33-year-old righty, who signed with the A’s as a free agent over the offseason, has an 0.82 ERA in eight spring training appearances.
LHP Ty Blach will start Thursday’s season opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Blach will pitch in place of staff ace Madison Bumgarner, who had surgery on Saturday to have three pins inserted into the broken pinkie on his left hand.
RHP Trevor Cahill will pitch three innings in Oakland’s last exhibition game on Tuesday, Melvin said. Cahill, who last week signed a one-year $1.25 million contract with the A’s, will be pitching for just the second time this spring. He’ll start the season in the bullpen but is expected to join the rotation after building up his arm strength.
Athletics: Joyce stayed in the game after fouling a ball off his knee in the third. He dropped to the ground and appeared to be in severe pain but he stayed in the game. Melvin said he’ll rest the lefty-hitting Joyce on Monday against a left-handed starter.
LHP Derek Holland will pitch for the Giants on Monday when the Bay Bridge exhibition series moves to San Francisco. RHP Daniel Mengden will pitch for the A’s.