SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Todd Wellemeyer made another strong start in his bid for the fifth spot in San Francisco's rotation and Aaron Rowand had two hits and drove in a run and the Giants turned away Bay Area rival Oakland 6-3 on Thursday night.
Wellemeyer, a 31-year-old right-hander who is in camp as a non-roster invitee, pitched five innings for the second straight game. He gave up two runs (one earned) and three hits while walking two and striking out four and improved to 3-0.
Wellemeyer took a hard-hit ball by Oakland's Kurt Suzuki off his leg, leaving a large red mark, but maintained his composure and started a double play to help him escape trouble in the fourth inning.
The 31-year-old will make one more start this spring on March 30 against the Chicago Cubs.
"I was a Cubs fan my whole life," said Wellemeyer, who grew up in Louisville, Ky., and pitched for the team from 2003-05. "There's still some guys I know over there."
Even if he should slip a bit, it likely would take a major effort by right-hander Kevin Pucetas, his primary contender, to overtake him. Wellemeyer's other competitor, left-hander Madison Bumgarner, was optioned to Triple-A Fresno, Calif., earlier this week.
"I felt pretty good until the fourth inning," said Wellemeyer, who pitched for St. Louis in 2008 and 2009. "The fourth inning was a little long. I wanted to go to the sixth, but I threw too many pitches (77).
"I still felt better in the fifth than I did in the fifth of my last game (March 20 against Cincinnati)."
Errors put the first two men on base for Oakland in the fourth. After Suzuki's shot hit him, Wellemeyer recovered, threw to shortstop Juan Uribe at second base for one out, and Uribe threw to first base in time to get Suzuki.
Similar to Wellemeyer, Oakland starter Jason Jennings is a veteran right-hander trying to earn an opening day roster spot as either a starter or long reliever. Jennings gave up two earned runs and four hits while walking three in three innings.
Giants leadoff man Aaron Rowand had two hits, including a run-scoring double in a two-run fourth inning that increased the lead to 4-1. Rowand has hit in 11 of his 13 games.
John Bowker, attempting to earn a roster spot as a reserve outfielder, had a pair of doubles after hitting two home runs and driving in seven runs on Wednesday against Kansas City.
Giants reliever Sergio Romo pitched a scoreless seventh inning. He is unscored upon in nine innings this spring. And closer Brian Wilson pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his second save.
Notes: Giants infielder Emmanuel Burriss will be out at least 10 weeks after having surgery on Sunday to repair a fracture in his left foot. ... Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum will pitch against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. ... Second baseman Mark Ellis returned to the Oakland lineup after being out since March 21 with tightness in both hamstrings. He had a run-scoring single in the fourth inning and had a slow ground ball take a bad bounce and hit him in the face.