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Oakland at San Francisco

W: B. Zito (2-0) L: A. Griffin (2-2) S: S. Romo (1)
HR: OAK - None   SF - None

Giants 3, Athletics 1


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The status of San Francisco Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval for opening day is still a big question after he left Friday night's 3-1 victory against the Oakland Athletics with more discomfort in his irritated elbow.

The World Series MVP returned to the lineup as designated hitter after nearly two weeks off, but still isn't right and came out of the game after only two at-bats. He had been out since March 16 because of an inflamed nerve in his right elbow, but felt fine to play Friday after going through pregame baseball activities.

"I was a little sore," Sandoval said. "Just a precaution. I don't want to be worse with opening day coming. I'm just going day by day. I want to be OK. It's nothing serious. I have seen the progress in one week."

Manager Bruce Bochy indicated a decision on Sandoval could come as soon as Saturday after the Kung Fu Panda is re-evaluated. Sanodval hoped his arm would calm down over night. Sandoval's arm bothers him more batting left-handed, which he did Friday.

"We're being cautious," Bochy said. "We'll see how he's doing tomorrow and re-evaluate him."

Buster Posey went 2 for 4 against the AL West champion A's just hours after the Giants rewarded the reigning NL MVP and batting champion with a new $167 million, nine-year contract.

Gregor Blanco hit a tying RBI triple in the fifth, then Nick Noonan followed with a go-ahead single off A.J. Griffin (2-2). Noonan learned after the game he had made the opening day roster, recalled from Triple-A Fresno.

Sandoval went 0 for 2, but initially what mattered most was that he played at all.

"Pablo's a huge part of this team, and to have him back before the season starts is big," winning pitcher Barry Zito said. "We're excited that we're kind of full force right now."

Brandon Crawford extended his spring hitting streak to 11 games with a two-out double in the fifth, then scored on Blanco's hit to deep center that went over Coco Crisp's head.

Noonan also added an eighth-inning triple ahead of Angel Pagan's RBI single.

Sandoval received a rousing ovation from the sellout crowd of 42,808 at AT&T Park when he stepped into the batter's box in the first as the designated hitter. Before the game, Bochy thought there was still a chance Sandoval could play in Monday's season opener in Los Angeles, or even come off the bench as a pinch-hitter initially if it hurts his arm to throw and play third base.

After the game, it was much less clear.

Joaquin Arias would start in place of Sandoval, and keeping Noonan as an extra infielder gives the Giants a backup plan.

"He threw today well, he threw at 100 feet," Bochy said. "I watched him doing baseball activity, and throwing and swinging the bat he's fine."

Derek Norris hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth against Zito (2-0), who allowed three hits and one run, walked three and struck out one in 5 1-3 innings. It was his seventh and final spring start, and mist swirled above the outfield in the early innings.

"I feel pretty good," Zito said. "For me it's just working day to day."

He is slated to pitch the home opener next Friday against St. Louis - the team he beat in a series-saving Game 5 of the NL championship series last fall at Busch Stadium.

Zito seems more crisp entering this season than a year ago, if you ask Bochy. This is the final season of Zito's $126 million, seven-year deal he received before the 2007 season, though the Giants have an $18 million option for 2014 that becomes guaranteed if he throws 200 innings this year.

"He's had great focus, the concentration and the confidence," Bochy said. "I'm sure he got it last year and he carried it out into the spring. He's been right on really from Game 1. When he came to camp, he probably threw more than anybody, which is the norm for Barry. He threw eight or nine times out of the bullpen before he even came to spring training. He did work hard this winter."

NOTES: The teams play their exhibition finale against each other Saturday afternoon in Oakland. ... A's GM Billy Beane celebrated his 51st birthday. ... A woman jumped into the Giants' dugout after the fifth. ... After the game, the Giants placed infielder-outfielder Brett Pill, infielder Tony Abreu and left-hander Eric Surkamp on the major league disabled list. The moves were retroactive to March 22. In addition, outfielder Francisco Peguero and right-hander Jean Machi were optioned to Fresno. They will have the day off Saturday then report to the Grizzlies club Sunday.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game
San Francisco

N. Noonan
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0

C. Young
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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Jed Lowrie, SS3000000 .294
    Andy Parrino, LF1000000 .368
Chris Young, RF-CF2120200 .255
Yoenis Cespedes, LF3020001 .298
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2B - Chris Young (3, Casilla)
SF - Derek Norris (1)
RBI - Derek Norris (12)
SB - Chris Young (2, 3rd base off Gaudin/Posey), Josh Donaldson (1, 2nd base off Zito/Posey)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Lowrie-Sizemore-Freiman
Oakland Athletics
A.J. Griffin (L,2-2) 5522160 5.40
Chris Resop 1100000 0.00
Sean Doolittle 0.2000020 2.35
Ryan Cook 0.1000000 6.14
Grant Balfour 1211020 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Griffin 79-57, Chris Resop 10-7, Sean Doolittle 8-7, Ryan Cook 1-1, Grant Balfour 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Griffin 5-3, Chris Resop 1-1, Grant Balfour 1-0
Batters Faced - A.J. Griffin 20, Chris Resop 3, Sean Doolittle 2, Ryan Cook 1, Grant Balfour 5
San Francisco Giants
Angel Pagan, CF4021020 .268
Marco Scutaro, 2B4000003 .195
Pablo Sandoval, DH2000000 .400
   a- Andres Torres, PH-DH2000011 .234
Buster Posey, C4020011 .300
Hunter Pence, RF3000012 .348
Brandon Belt, 1B3000031 .419
Brandon Crawford, SS3110021 .371
Gregor Blanco, LF2111100 .283
Nick Noonan, 3B3121001 .273
a-popped out for Sandoval in the 6th
2B - Brandon Crawford (6, Griffin)
3B - Gregor Blanco (4, Griffin), Nick Noonan (4, Balfour)
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2-OUT RBI - Gregor Blanco (2), Nick Noonan (3)
SB - Angel Pagan (2, 2nd base off Balfour/Norris)
CS - Gregor Blanco (3, 2nd base by Griffin/Norris)
Team LOB - 4
San Francisco Giants
Barry Zito (W,2-0) 5.1311310 2.70
Chad Gaudin (H,6) 0.2000010 2.55
Javier Lopez (H,5) 1000020 11.88
Santiago Casilla (H,3) 1100000 4.50
Sergio Romo (S,1) 1000020 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - Barry Zito 92-57, Chad Gaudin 12-7, Javier Lopez 11-7, Santiago Casilla 16-11, Sergio Romo 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Zito 8-7, Santiago Casilla 1-2, Sergio Romo 1-0
Batters Faced - Barry Zito 22, Chad Gaudin 2, Javier Lopez 3, Santiago Casilla 4, Sergio Romo 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42808
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Quinn Wolcott