MLB.com Columnist

Jesse Sanchez

Bumgarner happy with progress in 2nd start

Giants ace gets work in vs. Padres; Melancon stays perfect in spring

Bumgarner happy with progress in 2nd start

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Giants ace Madison Bumgarner doesn't want anyone to misinterpret his words.

He's not trying to be pedestrian or even be a wise guy. But really, all the left-hander was trying to do in Tuesday afternoon's 9-5 loss to the Padres was get his work in and get ready for the season. And no, he didn't have a game plan against San Diego's hitters, and no, it didn't matter that he was facing a National League West opponent.

Bumgarner gave up two runs on two hits in two innings. He walked one and struck out one during the brief 26-pitch outing. He did want to get up and down once Tuesday and that's what he did. He allowed two runs on two hits and walked one in a one-inning outing against the Reds in his first Cactus League start last Friday.

"I felt good, better than last time. The stuff was a little crisper and a little sharper and that's all you can ask for," Bumgarner said. "You go out there and get your work in. It's one of those things where you keep getting better and picking it up and by the time the regular season gets here, you should be ready."

Bumgarner was in good spirits after his outing and he mentioned how he liked having Gordon Beckham around this spring. Beckham, who has spent all of his career in the big leagues in the infield, made a rare appearance in left field Tuesday and caught the attention of the staff ace. San Diego's Austin Hedges hit a ball hard over Beckham's head in the second inning. Padres left fielder Jose Pirela scored from third on a sacrifice fly to Beckham later in the frame.

"We've gotten to know each other really good and [Beckham's] a good guy to have on the team and he's a talented player, too, except for today," Bumgarner joked. "He couldn't throw the ball home or catch the ball over his head. He told me he was going to catch everything and throw a guy out that tried to run on him. He lied."

Mark Melancon retired all three batters he faced in the third inning. He's retired all six batters he's faced in Cactus League play.

"He's throwing well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's all business. Even in 'pens and stuff, he has that great focus you like. He's throwing the ball well."

Melancon rings up Spangenberg

Johnny Cueto threw a bullpen in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday. Cueto, who is still back on the island waiting for a visa for his father, is expected in camp within a few days.

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.