Athletics beat Giants 3-2

April 5, 2009 1:46:39 PM PDT
Brett Anderson allowed two runs on six hits in 6 2-3 innings, and Eric Chavez and Jack Cust hit back-to-back home runs as the Athletics beat the San Francisco Giants 3-2 on Saturday.

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The 21-year-old Anderson, scheduled to make his major league debut against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, walked one and struck out five. He finished the spring with three wins and a 2.83 ERA.

He's part of the youngest projected starting rotation in the majors since the 1978 Milwaukee Brewers.

"It's going to be exciting," Anderson said. "I think the average age is 23, it's pretty crazy. Hopefully I can take it in stride and pitch like I have been in spring training."

Added manager Bob Geren: "We're going with a very young pitching staff with a bright future. They have talent and all we emphasize with them is to throw strikes."

Anderson gave up both runs in the fifth on Eugenio Velez's groundout and Pablo Sandoval's single. He retired six of the final seven batters he faced.

"This was a better atmosphere," Anderson said. "The mound was better. It was a good tuneup for my opening day."

Chavez and Cust led off the sixth inning with home runs off Ramon Ortiz, who has allowed 13 runs in his 6 1-3 innings.

Giants starter Matt Cain needed 36 pitches to get through the first inning, and then used 36 more for a strong finish to his four-inning stint.

Cain walked three consecutive batters after Ryan Sweeney's leadoff single. After walking Chavez to force in a run, Cain struck out Cust and Kurt Suzuki to end the inning.

"It took me a while to get through the first inning," Cain said. "I was a little too amped up. I didn't calm down until the second inning. It's good to get that out of the way and slow the nerves before the next start."

Cain allowed one run on two hits. He walked a spring-high four and struck out six. He's walked 12 of his 14 batters over his last six outings, a span of 26 innings, but he has also recorded 28 of his 34 strikeouts during that stretch.

"We feel better at this point now than where we were at this point," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Now we need to go out and show it."

Chavez has homered in each of his last two games after failing to go deep in his first 21 at-bats for Oakland.

"Playing the two days and having the day off is so critical for me," Chavez said. "I can't imagine playing more than three days in a row. That day of recovery is pivotal for me."

Sandoval had two hits for the Giants and improved his average to a Cactus League best .450. Kurt Suzuki had two hits for the A's.

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