Notes: Bad day for Sanchez

Notes: Bad day for Sanchez

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Jonathan Sanchez remains a candidate for the starting rotation, but he'd be well-advised to begin pitching like one.

Scored upon in both innings he pitched Tuesday, Sanchez allowed three runs and two hits, issued two walks and hit a batter in the Giants' 9-6 exhibition loss to the San Diego Padres.

Sanchez entered the game in the fourth inning with the score tied, 3-3, and allowed a home run to the first batter he faced, Paul McAnulty. San Diego then broke a 4-4 tie with a pair of fifth-inning runs off Sanchez, who hit and walked the baserunners who scored.

The 25-year-old left-hander previously has struggled to repeat his delivery, but manager Bruce Bochy indicated that wasn't a problem this time.

"Sanchie cannot pitch 'up,'" Bochy said. "We've got his arm slot in a pretty good position, but he has to get a little more consistent to get the ball down. It's time these guys start getting a little more locked in and a little better command."

Sanchez is competing for the No. 5 starter's spot with Kevin Correia, who threw three shutout innings Monday against Texas. If Noah Lowry were to progress slowly from his tendinitis, Sanchez might be in line to claim a spot in the rotation by default -- unless his ERA remains where it currently stands at 18.00.

Lincecum's day: By contrast, Bochy had no worries about Tim Lincecum, who blanked San Diego for two innings before allowing three third-inning runs.

"He's right on schedule," Bochy said of Lincecum, who threw 34 strikes in 49 pitches.

"I felt like I had my rhythm going," Lincecum said. "Everything was pretty much in sync with all my pitches."

Lincecum's afternoon ended suddenly. After striking out Giant-killer Scott Hairston to open the third, Lincecum allowed Tadahito Iguchi's double and walked Jim Edmonds. Tony Clark, who struck out on three pitches in his previous at-bat, grounded a two-run double past first base after Lincecum threw two fastballs that looked tantalizingly close to the strike zone. Khalil Greene then hit a sacrifice fly off Kelvin Pichardo, who wild-pitched Clark to third.

Lincecum, 23, opposed future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, 41, who performed as he usually does against the Giants in his Cactus League debut. Maddux retired all six batters he faced on 18 pitches.

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"It just seems like it's so easy out there to him," Lincecum said of Maddux, the 347-game winner who's beginning his 23rd season. "When you can go that long with a mid-80s fastball and still do everything he does, that says a lot for him."

Liking lefties: Facing left-handed pitchers doesn't bother outfielder Fred Lewis, even though he bats left-handed. Four of Lewis' seven hits this spring have come off left-handers. This isn't an aberration, given Lewis' career .290 average (9-for-31) against lefties.

Lewis' proficiency partly reflects his determination to prove that he's more than just a candidate for platooning. "I want to show people that I can be an everyday player," he said.

The 27-year-old's success off lefties also stems from proper technique.

"I don't bail out," said Lewis, who hiked his Cactus League batting average to .538 (7-for-13) with an eighth-inning RBI double off right-hander Paul Abraham. "I keep my front side in there a whole lot longer than I do on righties."

Lewis also tends to hit the ball to the opposite field against left-handers.

"That way, I stay inside the ball and don't pull off of it."

Short hops: With the exception of catcher Eliezer Alfonzo, who replaced injured Bengie Molina, the Giants fielded their projected Opening Day lineup. Bochy said that this was merely the product of all the regulars receiving a turn to play on the same day. He also emphasized that "we're still open-minded" about who might win everyday jobs. ... Kevin Frandsen committed a first-inning error on Edmonds' hard short-hopper and couldn't hold onto Nick Hundley's seventh-inning grounder, which was scored a base hit. Bochy maintained confidence in Frandsen, saying, "This kid is going to be out there a lot. He'll get better out there with playing time." ... Who says the Giants lack power? They erased a 3-0 deficit in the fourth inning with back-to-back homers by Aaron Rowand, who launched a two-run drive, and Rich Aurilia.

Up next: Barry Zito, who's scheduled to face Kansas City and right-hander Gil Meche on Wednesday, will have plenty of room for improvement. In Zito's first Cactus League outing last Saturday, he allowed eight runs in two-thirds of an inning against Oakland.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.