SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Matt Cain didn’t looked much like the San Francisco Giants’ opening day starter in his four previous spring starts.
He did Friday against the Texas Rangers.
The right-hander gave up two hits in five scoreless innings and Hunter Pence and Andres Torres backed him with two-run home runs in a 5-2 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 12,106 at Scottsdale Stadium.
Cain also got defensive help from batterymate Buster Posey, the reigning National League MVP. Posey threw out Elvis Andrus and Jim Adduci as they attempted to steal second base.
“I felt good in the bullpen (warming up before the game),” said Cain, who was 16-5 in 32 starts for the World Series champions in 2012. “I thought about where I wanted to throw. I was confident throwing whatever I wanted. The misses weren’t as big.”
Cain called Posey’s throws to second “pretty ridiculous.”
“Those guys can run. He backhanded the ball on the second one (before throwing,” Cain said.
Cain knows he can help Posey keep baserunners off balance by varying his times to the plate and not allowing them to get a true read on his motion.
“You want to be around the plate to give him a chance,” Cain said. “If you do that, it doesn’t matter who is running. It will be close.”
Right-hander Derek Lowe, signed to a minor-league contract by Texas on March 6, made his first start of the spring and gave up two hits and a walk in two innings.
Pence hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to break a scoreless tie and added a run-scoring double in the sixth for a 3-0 lead.
DODGERS 8, ROYALS 1
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Yasiel Puig hit a two-run homer in the first inning Friday night, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to an 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals in a split-squad game for both teams.
Puig got his second home run this spring with a line shot over right-center field wall off a fastball from Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura.
Puig, a Cuban defector who signed a seven-year, $47-million contract last June 29, was 3 for 3 to raise his average to .459 this spring. In the second inning, he singled to right, stole second and scored on Juan Uribe’s double. In the fifth, he singled to center and scored on Alfredo Amezaga’s single.
Dodgers starter Stephen Fife threw four scoreless innings before giving up a run in the fifth on Alex Gordon’s double. Fife also had an RBI double in the fourth. WHITE SOX 15, CUBS 3
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Dayan Viciedo hit a grand slam and a two-run double, Dewayne Wise and Jordan Danks also homered, and Gavin Floyd allowed one run over 5 1-3 innings in the Chicago White Sox’s 15-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
The Sox beat their crosstown rival for the second time in two games this season.
Wise homered for the third time this spring, and Paul Konerko raised his average to .394 with a single and a double. Konerko also walked and scored two runs.
Floyd, an important piece in the middle of the White Sox’s starting rotation, did not walk a batter and struck out five.
“Everything was working pretty good today,” Floyd said. “I threw some changeups in there that were pretty good and I was using everything, so that’s a good place to be. Working both sides of the plate. It was fun.”
Viciedo’s homer was a deep blast to right-center field.
MARINERS 8, ANGELS 5
TEMPE, Ariz. — Julio Morban homered twice and Seattle right-hander Jeremy Bonderman allowed two runs in four innings in his second spring start to help the Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-5 on Friday.
Morban hit a two-run shot off Angels starter Tommy Hanson in the second for his first homer of the spring, and added another two-run blast off Billy Buckner in the eighth.
Bonderman is recovering from Tommy John surgery and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2010.
Hanson made his third spring start. He allowed two hits and three earned runs in four innings and also gave up a solo homer to Justin Smoak, his third of the spring.
Los Angeles’ Peter Bourjos hit his second spring homer off Andrew Carraway, a solo shot in the sixth.
ROYALS 7, PADRES 5
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Luke Hochevar worked two perfect innings in relief, David Lough had two more hits and a Kansas City Royals split-squad rallied to beat a San Diego Padres split-squad 7-5 on Friday.
Hochevar, the first player selected in the 2006 draft, was sent to the bullpen Wednesday after struggling the past five seasons as a starter. He struck out two and threw 16 strikes in 23 pitches.
Lough went 2 for 3 to raise his spring average to .548.
Nick Hundley hit a two-run homer in the Padres’ three-run first. Padres starter Jason Marquis gave up three runs on five hits and three walks in three innings. CUBS 7, JAPAN 5
MESA, Ariz. — Javier Baez hit homered twice, including a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth that gave the Chicago Cubs a 7-5 win over Japan on Friday.
The shortstop prospect who played in the high Class A Florida State League last season finished 2-for-4 with a walk, three runs and RBIs. He homered in the seventh and then followed up with the winning hit off Takeru Imamura.
Sho Nakata, who had three hits, and Hayato Sakamoto each hit two-run home runs as the two-time World Baseball Classic champions prepared for the event’s semifinals in San Francisco.
Cubs left-hander Travis Wood allowed five runs, 4 earned, and seven hits in his 4 2-3 innings. He struck out four.