Heston leaves impression with six strong innings

Giants' Minor League pitcher also hits RBI double and Susac homers

Heston leaves impression with six strong innings

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Andrew Susac slugged a homer off reliever Yimi Garcia in the sixth inning as the Giants came from behind Friday night to beat the Dodgers, 8-4 at Camelback Ranch.

Dodgers starter Zack Greinke hit his pitch limit after 3 2/3 innings. Two of the four runs Greinke allowed were unearned on an error by left fielder Carl Crawford, who earlier had an RBI single.

Gregor Blanco and starting pitcher Chris Heston doubled in a two-run fourth inning for the Giants. Heston pitched six innings, allowing three runs (two earned).

Blanco's RBI double


RBIs for RBI champ: Adrian Gonzalez, who led the NL in RBIs last year, doubled in two runs in a three-run first inning against Heston after a hit-and-run single by Yasiel Puig.

Susac homers: Susac, battling with Hector Sanchez for the backup catcher's position, crushed a two-run homer, his first of the spring in the top of the sixth.

Sanchez appears to be the front-runner for the job right now, but the home run for Susac, the Giants' No. 2 prospect, was a good moment for the 25-year-old.

"That's not going to be an easy decision," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Hector's had a good spring, Susac missed some time, but played very well tonight. It's not going to be an easy one."

Heston's strong start: Although Heston won't break camp with the Giants, he may still contribute this season and on Friday night he left a strong impression on Bochy.

Perhaps auditioning for a future job, Heston pitched six innings, surrendering four hits and three runs -- two earned.

"He threw great, good movement on his fastball, went in and out with it, good breaking ball, changeup," Bochy said.

Heston ran into a little bit of trouble in the first but finished with five scoreless innings, retiring 15 of the final 17 batters he faced.

Heston also helped his cause with an RBI double in the fourth that knocked Greinke out of the game.

Heston's RBI double


"After today, I probably need five more starts."
-- Greinke, when asked if he will be ready after only one more Spring Training start

"Threw out some good at-bats and made some nice contact there. Overall I thought we battled pretty good facing Greinke. He had good stuff, we worked some long at-bats."
-- Bochy on Gregor Blanco's two hits.


Nori Aoki got off to a slow start in Spring Training and had just one hit over his first six games. However, he's turned it around and now has a hit in six straight contests.


For the Giants: Jake Peavy will get the ball as the Giants travel to Peoria to take on the Mariners at 1:05 p.m. PT, airing on MLB.TV and an exclusive webcast. The Futures game is also scheduled for Saturday at 1:05 p.m., when Yusmeiro Petit will lead a team primarily comprised of players that came up through the system, against some of the team's Minor Leaguers. That game will air on an exclusive webcast.

For the Dodgers: David Huff starts Saturday for the Dodgers against the Angels at Tempe in a game that airs on MLB.TV. The non-roster lefty has a decent chance to make the club as a swingman, working out of the bullpen and filling in for injured starter Hyun-Jin Ryu twice in the first three weeks. With the Friday night game and split-squad games on Sunday, the Dodgers will send a skeleton crew to Tempe. Not making the trip: Jimmy Rollins, Puig, Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick and Crawford. Reliever Adam Liberatore is expected to test his groin injury.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.