Just like his start in Game 1 on Sunday, the fourth inning was Lance Lynn’s undoing tonight.
After holding the Giants hitless over the first three innings, Lynn allowed four runs in the top of the fourth inning before being pulled.
Lynn gave up singles to Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval to begin the inning before striking out Buster Posey for the first out. The next batter, Hunter Pence, hit a tapper right back at Lynn, but he made a wild throw which hit the second base bag and deflected into center field. Scutaro came around to score while Sandoval scampered over to third. Lynn got Brandon Belt to hit a soft liner to second base for the second out, but then walked Gregor Blanco to load the bases for Brandon Crawford, who delivered a two-run single through the middle. If that wasn’t bad enough, Barry Zito then wisely dropped a bunt down the third base line and beat it out for a hit to drive in the fourth run of the inning and end Lynn’s night. Seriously.
Joe Kelly replaced Lynn and struck out Angel Pagan swinging to avoid further damage, but the Giants currently hold a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.