SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Barry Zito struggled in his first season with San Francisco after signing a big contract. His 2008 spring training debut was even worse.
The left-hander gave up eight runs and seven hits against his former team Saturday, failing to get through the first inning in the Oakland Athletics' 23-5 victory over the Giants.Zito, the 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with Oakland, shrugged off the ugly outing. He said he felt good, and that was the important thing."If I look at it from how my body feels, it was all right," said Zito, who threw 44 pitches. "It was about getting back on the mound in a game situation and keeping the ball down. My fastball was down for the most part. I kept my change down except for a couple of bad ones. Except for the leadoff double, those were good pitches down. They were hitting it where it was pitched."Zito went 11-13 with a 4.53 ERA last season after leaving Oakland to sign a $126 million, seven-year contract with the Giants. At the time, it was the richest deal ever for a pitcher.Kurt Suzuki opened the game with a double. After Daric Barton grounded out, the next eight A's hitters reached base via a walk or single against Zito. After Barton hit into a force out, Zito was replaced by Osiris Matos.Mike Sweeney drove in three runs in the inning. Jack Hannahan drove in a pair, and Donnie Murphy, Carlos Gonzalez and Gregorio Petit each had run-scoring hits."If I felt terrible and the results were better, it wouldn't have been a win in my book," Zito said. "Right now it's about trying to get through innings and trying to get through games."Zito walked two and did not strike out a batter."Spring training can only get better," he said. "Obviously, the fans get all fired up and that's good to see."A's starter Greg Smith, meanwhile, needed just 20 pitches to get through two scoreless innings. The left-hander, part of the offseason trade that sent Dan Haren to Arizona, is part of the competition for a spot in the rotation."I try not to think about it, but it is in the back of my mind," Smith said. "I think about it at home watching television. When I get to the ballpark, we all have our work to do."Smith gave up a hit and struck out two, though he never got a chance to throw a curve."They told me to take it easy," he said. "The heat helped a lot and it was easy to stay loose."Murphy had three hits, including a home run, and Richie Robnett also homered for the A's. John Bowker had three hits for the Giants.
Brooks Conrad, who played his college ball at nearby Arizona State, hit a home run, a double, single and drove in three runs after replacing Murphy in the fourth. ... The game featured a combined 42 hits, 52 baserunners and 107 plate appearances. ... San Francisco closer Brian Wilson recorded the only 1-2-3 inning for the Giants.