PHOENIX (AP) — Oakland Athletics left-handed starting pitchers past and present engaged in a duel on Wednesday.
It was pretty much a draw between Barry Zito and Brett Anderson.
Zito won the American League Cy Young Award with Oakland in 2002 but hasn't found the same magic in San Francisco. He gave up one run on four hits, walked three and struck out two in 3 1-3 innings before the Giants rallied for a 6-1 victory at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Anderson, who was 11-11 in 2009 and led AL rookie pitchers in strikeouts with 150, pitched four scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and striking out one.
An RBI double by new third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff gave the Athletics a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Oakland had a chance to score more in the third, but Zito managed to escape a bases-loaded jam.
Anderson looked sharp by mixing his pitches. He left with a 1-0 lead, but Brad Kilby then entered the game and gave up a game-tying home run to Juan Uribe.
Zito left the ballpark before reporters were allowed in the clubhouse. But in previous starts this spring, he said he was looking to make progress with each start in terms of longevity and results, and he appeared to do that on this occasion. He gave up two hits in four innings against minor leaguers in his previous start on March 12.
By mixing up his pitches, particularly his change-up, Anderson said that allows him to pitch longer into the game. He gave up three runs on four hits in 2 2-3 innings in his previous start against Arizona on Friday.
"It was a lot better out there today, probably my best game so far," said Anderson, who was a second-round pick by Arizona in 2006 and came to the Athletics in 2007 as part of the trade for right-hander Dan Haren.
"If I pitch to contact, I keep the innings short," Anderson said. "My first two starts, I didn't do that as well."
The Giants broke the tie by scoring three runs with two outs in the seventh inning.
Nate Schierholtz's ground-rule double brought home the first of those runs. Francisco Peguero, pinch-running for Bengie Molina (single), scored after stealing second.
Schierholtz's hit bounced over the fence at the 410-foot sign in straightaway center field.
Darren Ford and Ryan Rohlinger followed with RBI singles to give left-handed middle reliever Jeremy Affeldt his second victory in five spring outings.
Uribe, who likely will begin the season as the starting second baseman while Freddy Sanchez recovers from shoulder surgery, made the defensive play of the game in the fifth.
He roamed far to his right, into shallow center field, turned and threw Kouzmanoff out by a step.
NOTES: Oakland OF Rajai Davis was scratched from the leadoff spot just before the first pitch due to tenderness in his left quadriceps. He is listed as day-to-day. ... Former Oakland OF Rickey Henderson, the career leader in stolen bases, is working with the young players on running the bases. ... The Giants will get Thursday off before returning to action on Friday against Cleveland in Scottsdale, Ariz. ... Closer Andrew Bailey, the AL rookie of the year in 2009, and middle reliever Craig Breslow have been slowed by elbow tenderness, but it is not serious and both should be ready to go on Opening Day, according to manager Bob Geren.