SAN FRANCISCO — Jeff Samardzija finished his spring on a very nice roll — nine shutout innings and just three hits allowed in his final two appearances, including five innings of one-hit ball Friday night as the Giants beat the A’s 2-1 in the second game of the Bay Bridge Series at AT&T Park.
Samardzija only allowed a scratch single to Oakland’s Marcus Semien in the third inning and a walk to Yonder Alonso in the fifth. He struck out six.
“The last two starts you really want to turn it on and get going,” Samardzija said. “The first three or four in camp you’re just getting back in the swing of things and making sure everything is where it’s supposed to be and you’re feeling all right. So It’s good to end on a positive note going into the season, sure.”
Samardzija said all of his pitches were working and he was particularly happy with his slider.
“I thought the slider was really good, we got a couple punch-outs on it and we were missing with the right spots with it,” he said. “There’s no damage if you keep it away and have good depth to it. That’s always been a big pitch for me to steal a strike here and there and keep guys off your fastball.”
The Giants scored their first run in the second inning on Brandon Crawford’s first-pitch leadoff homer against Oakland’s Jharel Cotton. The A’s tied the score 1-1 in the top of the eighth against reliever Hunter Strickland but the Giants reclaimed the lead when they loaded the bases against reliever Ryan Dull and scored the go-ahead run on Eduard Nunez fielder’s choice grounder.
Derek Law escaped a two-on, one-out jam to earn the save in the ninth inning.
Manager Bruce Bochy announced after the game that pitchers Josh Osich and Albert Suarez as well as infielder Kelby Tomlinson had been optioned to Triple-A Sacramento and that non-roster outfielder Chris Marrero had made the club. He will platoon with Jarrett Parker in left field and also play some first base on occasion.
“I’m happy, man, it’s a dream come true,” said Marrero, who has hit .279 with seven homers and 14 RBIs this spring. “It will be my first Opening Day of my career. I worked really hard in the off-season to get myself ready to this position. Hard work pays off sometimes. I feel like coming in in my position as a minor-league free agent, you have to open some eyes, and I felt that I proved to them that I could help this team win.”
The Giants are now down to 13 position players and have three relief pitchers still vying for two remaining roster spots — right-handers Cory Gearrin and Neil Ramirez and left-hander Steven Okert.