Notes: Morris feeling much better

Notes: Morris feeling much better

PEORIA, Ariz. -- What a difference four days make.

Making his second start of the spring and first without battling through symptoms of the flu, right-hander Matt Morris virtually sailed through his three innings almost without incident against the Mariners at Peoria Stadium on Wednesday.

"I'm just trying to build and there wasn't much to build on what happened last week," said Morris after coming out of the Giants' 5-4 win. "Being sick and getting into the competition wasn't a good formula for me. The whole thing about pitching is the mental part of it. When you're not even executing, it's hard to get in tune with the catcher and set up guys. I was able to get ahead on the count and think about getting some outs."

This past Saturday, when Morris was in the thick of the illness, he was pelted for seven runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings against the Brewers in Maryvale. Wednesday was a tad different: one run on three hits and a pair of strikeouts in three innings. Morris retired the last eight hitters he faced after Raul Ibanez singled home Seattle's only run against him with one out in the first inning. He threw 52 pitches.

Morris, a free-agent signing prior to the 2006 season, finished 10-15 with a 4.98 ERA, the first sub-.500 season of his 10-year career. The season ended with Morris pitching the final weeks through broken ribs near his back.

Morris was the No. 2 starter on that staff behind Jason Schmidt, who has since signed with the Dodgers. This year, Barry Zito is the unquestioned ace and Morris isn't sure where new manager Bruce Bochy will fit him in.

"The only time placing matters is to you guys," said Morris, indicating the reporters. "If it's my day, it's my day. I've been the No. 1 guy and I've been the No. 5 guy. When the game starts you're not matching up against the other No. 1 guy all the time. It's just the way the cookie crumbles. However they set up the rotation is how they set it up."

Bochy said Morris will probably be a "middle-of-the-order guy."

Barry, Barry, Barry: As promised, Barry Bonds took the trip to the west valley for the first time in five years, had two at-bats and went home. Utilized as the designated hitter for the second consecutive game, Bonds again batted third. This time, he doubled to left in the first inning -- a short pop fly toward the line that eluded left fielder Ibanez, who was stationed near the fence -- and slid into second again ahead of the throw. He then took a called third strike to end the third inning against Mariners starter Felix Hernandez.

Bonds, who is 3-for-7 on the spring with a pair of doubles and two RBIs, said he had pretty much overcome the bout with bronchitis that had sent him to bed for two days last weekend.

"At least I can eat now," said Bonds, who traveled to and from Peoria in his own vehicle accompanied by a security guard. "I'm not perfect, but I'm feeling much better."

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Bonds said he doesn't anticipate playing against the Brewers in Maryvale on Thursday, but will be back in the lineup Friday when the Giants play the A's in Scottsdale. Bochy confirmed that Bonds will have the day off Thursday and will start in left field Friday.

Klesko shelved: The Giants lost Ryan Klesko for at least a week with a strained muscle on his left side. Klesko sustained the injury diving for a batted ball during batting practice Sunday before a game against the Mariners at Scottsdale, Bochy said. It's more of the same for Klesko, a free-agent signee last winter, who missed almost the entire 2006 season in San Diego because of shoulder surgery. Klesko has missed 257 games the past four seasons, including 156 in 2006.

"We've been through this before," said Bochy, who managed Klesko for the past seven years when both were with the Padres. "Every spring he seems to tweak something, whether it's a back or a shoulder or a rib. We'll give him some time and have him ready for the start of the season."

Over in Maryvale: Young phenom hurler Tim Lincecum was knocked around during his start in a split-squad game against the Brewers, allowing three runs on four hits while walking none and striking out two in two innings. All the runs and hits came in the first inning. The right-hander is most likely ticketed for Triple-A Fresno to start the season. The Giants clobbered the Brewers, 15-6, giving them a split-squad sweep at both ends of the valley.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.