SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Even after more than two decades in the majors, 45-year-old Randy Johnson is being exposed to new experiences.
Try a catcher attempting a straight steal of home plate in a spring training game.Kansas City's Miguel Olivo was unable to fool Johnson with his dash Friday. The Big Unit deftly stepped off the rubber and threw home to Bengie Molina for the final out in the second inning, finishing his spring debut with the San Francisco Giants."Just when you think you've seen it all ...," Johnson said after the Giants' 6-1 loss to the Royals on Friday. "It kind of took me off-guard a little bit. But they are working on things, just like we are. You kind of see what will work and what won't work."Kansas City scored one run in two innings off Johnson. Ryan Shealy was hit by a pitch to lead off the second inning and went to second on Olivo's single. The runners advanced on a wild pitch and Shealy scored on Mitch Maier's groundout."Other than the senior moment I had with my splitter by hitting the first batter and throwing another one in the dirt, I felt pretty good, considering the last two years at this time I wasn't pitching in games," Johnson said."It was great to be able to get out there and compete and not worry about anything now. It's a nice position to be in. I can know I will wake up tomorrow and feel pretty good."Johnson, five victories away from 300 in his career, did not make his first spring start until midway through games the last two seasons with Arizona while recovering from back operations.Shealy hit a three-run homer off nonroster invitee Ramon Ortiz in the sixth inning.Giants second base candidate Kevin Frandsen homered with one out in the eighth inning for San Francisco's only run.Kansas City starter Zack Greinke, who signed a four-year, $38 million contract this offseason, retired all six batters he faced with one strikeout."It would be nice if that happened every time," Greinke said. "There were balls hit at people. Things can go either really bad in two innings or it can look really good in two innings. You don't really get the whole story. The main thing was stuff was pretty good."The teams used the DH even though San Francisco was the home team, but Greinke said he would have liked to hit off Johnson."He's probably more fun to hit off now than 10 years ago," Greinke said. "It would be neat to say I got a hit off him. That would be the main reason."Greinke said closer Joakim Soria came into the Royals dugout early just to watch Johnson pitch, a sign of respect players have for the five-time Cy Young award winner."He made a point go come down and watch him pitch," Greinke said.
Giants LHP Jonathan Sanchez struck out four in three innings in his final outing before leaving to join Puerto Rico's team for the World Baseball Classic on Sunday. Sanchez gave up one run when LF Eugenio Velez lost Mike Aviles' fly ball in the sun for a two-out, RBI single. ... San Francisco RHP Tim Lincecum said he was pleased with his one-year, $650,000 contract that he agreed to Thursday. "Anything that goes up is a plus for me. Why not?" said Lincecum, who made $405,000 in 2008. "I'm just more concerned in playing ball and letting my agent take care of the other stuff. I'm definitely pleased with what I've got." As far as negotiations on a long-term deal, "if it happens, it happens," he said. Lincecum, the reigning NL Cy Young award winner, is likely due for a much bigger payday next season when he is expected to be eligible for salary arbitration. ... Royals LHP John Bale returned to Kansas City for further evaluation on his thyroid after a routine camp physical revealed possible problems. "There were irregularities in his blood work," manager Trey Hillman said. "It's a problem dealing with his thyroid." ... The Royals asked for unconditional release waivers on LHP Neal Musser after he went unclaimed. Musser was designated for assignment Feb. 19 after the Royals claimed INF Tug Hulett on waivers from Seattle.