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