Giants 9, Cubs 7

Pablo Sandoval played his final game before leaving camp to join

Venezuela for the World Baseball Classic. He left a good


Sandoval hit a towering home run, the only blemish for Carlos

Villanueva on Sunday, and a San Francisco Giants split squad beat

the Chicago Cubs 9-7.

”I’m getting more exciting every day,” Sandoval said. ”I feel

ready. I didn’t do as much in winter league. I really wanted to be

ready for the WBC.”

Gregor Blanco drove in two runs for the Giants, who are losing

eight players to the WBC after this weekend.

”I’m looking to the challenges ahead,” Sandoval said. ”We

have a lot of guys from several teams on the club.”

Should Venezuela reach the finals, to be played at AT&T

Park, it would mean something extra for Sandoval.

”That would be the best,” he said. ”I have so many great

memories in that park, like last year’s World Series.”

Sandoval was the World Series MVP in the Giants’ sweep of the

Detroit Tigers.

Villanueva, a candidate for the Cubs’ starting rotation, gave up

one run on four hits over three innings. He walked one and struck

out two.

The home run pitch to Sandoval was just a few inches off the


”I’ve known about him for a long time,” said Villanueva,

originally signed by the Giants as an amateur in 2002. ”Playing in

the same organization you always know about guys.”

Despite the home run, Villanueva said he felt his best in his

final inning.

”My last start I didn’t get a chance to work through my

mechanics,” he said. ”But that third inning I had better


Villanueva, with seven years in the majors, signed with the Cubs

as a free agent.

”Front office guys, they do their scouting on all the

players,” Villanueva said. ”I did my scouting of the front office

guys. I got to choose this time and I wanted to be comfortable and

surrounded by guys who put team first. I like what we are building

here. We have guys with that kind of personality.”

Yusmeiro Petit gave the Giants a nice outing in place of Tim

Lincecum, who was scratched because of a blister on his right

middle finger. Petit gave up a hit in three innings with one


”He pitched very well,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Steve Clevenger had two hits and drove in two runs and Dioner

Navarro added two RBIs for the Cubs.

Giants infielder Kenuke Tanaka had two hits, drove in a run,

stole a base and made a nice defensive play from second base in his

quest to find a permanent job in the majors.

Adam Duvall, who figures to see more action while Marco Scutaro

plays for Venezuela, hit a two-run homer in the sixth.

Johnny Monell, who has been bouncing around in the Giants’

organization for six years, added two hits and drove in a run.

NOTES: Lincecum said he didn’t think the blister would affect

his preparation and he was still going to play catch. … Giants

LHP Jeremy Affeldt only got one out, giving up three runs on two

hits and three walks after throwing three scoreless innings. …

Giants closer Sergio Romo pitched a perfect inning. … Cubs RHP

Whitenack pitched a perfect inning for the Cubs. … RHP Marco

Estrada will pitch for the Cubs on Sunday against the Milwaukee

Brewers and RHP Nick Struck starts the Cubs game at the Los Angeles

Angels. … LHP Barry Zito takes the mound for the Giants against

the Arizona Diamondbacks.