New shortstop Semien homers twice in Cactus League debut

A's greet Giants' Bumgarner with collective cycle in first inning

New shortstop Semien homers twice in Cactus League debut

MESA, Ariz. -- A's shortstop Marcus Semien made quite the first impression in green and gold, belting two home runs and finishing 3-for-3 with four RBIs in the club's Cactus League opener against the Bay rival Giants at Hohokam Stadium on Tuesday, which the A's won 9-4.

Three of those RBIs came against Giants southpaw Madison Bumgarner. Back on the mound for the first time since his World Series MVP performance, Bumgarner faced 10 batters and was tagged for four runs and five hits, including a two-run homer to Semien, with two strikeouts.

The A's hit for a team cycle in the opening frame against the lefty. The first of two Craig Gentry singles and a Ben Zobrist triple sandwiched Semien's home run, and Nate Freiman capped the cycle with a two-out double. Zobrist added a double to his day in the third, going 2-for-2 in his A's debut, and Semien's second long ball of the day came in the fifth against right-hander Cody Hall.

"That was cool," said Semien, one of four players acquired in the Jeff Samardzija trade. "I got behind both times, 0-2, and I'm just glad I was able to battle. I'm just trying to put good swings on the ball right now. It was pretty cool facing Bumgarner for the first time and see what his stuff looks like in person. That was a good way to start."

Bumgarner was not disappointed by his outing.

"I'm trying to locate and I want to get guys out. But that's not the main concern right now," Bumgarner said. "It obviously will be before long. Right now it's about getting the arm in shape and being able to make good pitches. It's the first day."

Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum, who has generated high marks in the early goings of spring, pitched one inning, surrendering one hit -- an RBI single to Semien -- and notching a pair of strikeouts.

A's rotation candidate and Mesa native Brad Mills started the game, pitching one scoreless inning with a walk allowed in front of several family members, and his switch-pitching teammate, Pat Venditte, recorded a pair of outs -- one from each side.

The Giants got a home run from designated hitter Adam Duvall in the second inning off A's lefty Rudy Owens.

A's up next: Right-hander Jesse Chavez makes his push for a rotation spot with his first Cactus League start Wednesday in a road match with the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium, beginning at 12:05 p.m. PT. Another rotation candidate, Jesse Hahn, is expected to pitch after Chavez.

Jane Lee is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.