He's ready for the challenge.
On the day Ramirez re-signed with the rival Dodgers, Zito threw 45 pitches Wednesday in nearly three innings of San Francisco's 10-8 victory over Los Angeles at Camelback Ranch.
The left-hander allowed three runs, including a wind-aided, two-run homer by Andre Ethier, who was hitting in the No. 3 spot Ramirez normally occupies.
"Manny is always fun. He's among the best hitters in baseball and you get up for those guys," said Zito, who said he hopes to stretch out to 65-70 pitches in his next start. "In early January we were reading some stuff (about Ramirez coming to the Giants), but since we got here, I don't think it was hot. We're just intent on going straight ahead and being excited about the guys we have instead of waiting for the golden ticket."
Rich Aurilia, Pablo Sandoval and Jesus Guzman homered for the Giants, who pounded out 16 hits, including four off starter Clayton Kershaw and five against reliever James McDonald. Ethier, again the designated hitter to rest his bruised heel, and Xavier Paul each had two RBIs for the Dodgers.
It was a busy day for Los Angeles manager Joe Torre, beginning with a 6 a.m. meeting with Ramirez at owner Frank McCourt's house in Malibu. He returned to Camelback Ranch a little more than an hour before the game.
"After the game (Tuesday night), I went up to see (general manager) Ned (Colletti) and he asked me if I was free," Torre said. "I thought it was going to be a free dinner, and it turns out to be a flight. But it was certainly worthwhile, and I had a chance to stay home."
"Kershaw was OK. He's been working on some mechanical stuff with his leg kick," Torre said. "And this was McDonald's first outing when he got cuffed around a little bit. You're always finding out about people, seeing how they react the next time around."
Dodgers 2B Orlando Hudson was scratched from the lineup just before game time after experiencing some soreness in his surgically repaired left wrist. Hudson told Torre it was much better after treatment and he wanted to play, but was given the day off. Chin-lung Hu got the start and had two hits. ... Dodgers non-roster invitee Mitch Jones drove in his seventh run of the spring with a double in the second inning. ... Giants reliever Billy Sadler struggled, allowing three runs, three hits and three walks in one-third of an inning. ... The crowd of 5,944 was less than half capacity.