Pitchers have it rough as Indians outslug Giants
Gomes belts two homers, while Francoeur contributes three-run shot
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The lights came on and the baseballs flew out Tuesday night at Goodyear Ballpark. The Indians and Giants engaged in a Cactus League slugfest in the kind of back-and-forth contest that an Arizona evening can create.
Cleveland and San Francisco combined for seven home runs, two by the Indians' Yan Gomes, in a 12-11 Cleveland victory during the only night game of the spring for the Indians. Tribe starter Zach McAllister and San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong were both victimized by the high-octane offense.
McAllister -- Cleveland's No. 3 starter -- allowed three of San Francisco's four home runs and headed off the hill with six runs allowed on nine hits in only three innings. The big right-hander was originally scheduled to log five innings, but that plan went out the window as the ball carried all over the ballpark.
"It looked like it was a tough night out there to be a pitcher," Vogelsong said.
The Giants pounded out four hits in the first inning, which was highlighted by a two-run home run off the bat of Tyler Colvin. Pablo Sandoval and Hector Sanchez later connected for consecutive homers off McAllister to open the third inning. Sanchez's shot to deep right-center field exited Goodyear Ballpark after bouncing off a walkway behind the stands.
"I thought Zach actually threw the ball pretty well," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "He mislocated some pitches, obviously, but he actually threw the ball pretty well. They kind of had their hitting shoes on and so did we. Maybe it was the lights. I don't know. Everybody was swinging the bat."
Vogelsong, who is projected to open the year as the fifth starter for the Giants, was charged with nine runs (eight earned) on 11 hits in only 2 2/3 innings. The right-hander surrended two home runs and finished with three strikeouts and no walks in his abbreviated outing.
Jason Kipnis used a groundout to plate a run in the first inning and Gomes launched a leadoff homer off Vogelsong in the second. In the third inning, Cleveland broke through for seven runs on eight hits, including six straight hits at one point. Within that onslaught, bench candidate Jeff Francoeur belted a tape-measure, three-run homer to left field.
Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Brantley and Bryan LaHair also chipped in RBI hits in the third.
The Giants countered with five more runs against Indians lefty Colt Hynes, who took over for McAllister in the fourth inning. San Francisco second baseman Brandon Hicks capped off that outburst with a three-run home run to left field off Hynes.
"It's one of those days when it was tough for a pitcher. The ball was carrying exceptionally today," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
Gomes gave Cleveland the lead with a two-run shot in the sixth off Santiago Casilla.
"That was nice to see," said Francona. "Gomer, he's a good hitter. I think Gomer, for a young kid that hasn't caught a lot, he understands his responsbility really well. I was really proud of him the other day, because he didn't swing the bat good in Mesa [on Sunday], and every inning he was waiting for the pitcher after their [outing]. That shows us that he understands. His priorities are in line. But it is nice to see him swing the bat."
Up next: Carlos Santana is scheduled to make his first Cactus League start behind the plate Wednesday, when the Indians host the A's in a 4:05 p.m. ET tilt at Goodyear Ballpark. Up to this point this spring, Santana has worked exclusively as a third baseman. Hard-throwing Danny Salazar is scheduled to start and go four innings. Rotation candidate Carlos Carrasco is to log five innings in relief.