A’s sharpen Spring Training bats against Giants


Baseball has returned and it couldn’t have come soon enough. (Actually, it could have.)

It may only Spring Training, but the Giants and A’s are back. The A’s have so far won both games against their cross-bay rivals, ignited by a potent offense.

Oakland hung 10 runs on Giants pitching in Wednesday’s opener, highlighted by Josh Reddick‘s Spider-Man-esque, home run-saving catches.

The A’s put up another seven on the split-squad Giants Friday following a clutch game-tying, two-run homer by Derek Norris in the eighth inning and a walkoff wild pitch.

Despite the runs allowed, Giants fans had a couple of things to smile about. Madison Bumgarner pitched two scoreless innings of one-hit ball in his Spring Training debut.

The steady disappearance of Pablo Sandoval‘s gut is also a welcomed sight.

Elsewhere in the Giants organization, Single-A prospect Ryan Jones was suspended this week for 50 games after testing positive for amphetamine.

Jones — a 23-year-old second baseman and a 13th-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player draft — hit .336 in 42 games Salem-Keizer (Oregon) last season. Jones had began 2014 on the roster of the Single-A Augusta (Georgia) Greenjackets.

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Sunday the A’s could get their first of many looks this season at newly-acquired Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder.

Like Sandoval, Fielder has slimmed down. He says he’s in the best shape of his life. That, in addition to playing in lefty-friendly Arlington, could prove tough for the A’s this season.

The Giants will visit the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

Both games start at 12:05 p.m. PT.

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