Garland sees 1st action in 20 months for Mariners

AP - Sports

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Jon Garland felt a little out of place at the beginning before settling in and relying on what he knows best.

Garland pitched for the first time in nearly 20 months, Franklin Gutierrez and Nick Franklin hit home runs and the Seattle Mariners won their sixth straight, beating the San Francisco Giants 4-3 on Thursday.

''It was a little weird,'' Garland said. ''But it felt good to get out there for a true game situation. I've done my throwing and my bullpens but I have not been out there with umpires and guys in uniforms for a long time.''

Garland was 1-5 with a 4.33 ERA in just nine starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers before labrum and rotator cuff surgery ended his 2011 season in July. He tried to make it back last year with Cleveland but suffered complications.

''There was definitely more adrenaline going than usual,'' Garland said. ''I really just wanted to come out of it healthy. I felt good about my pitches and how I was throwing.''

Justin Smoak collected two more hits and drove in a run for the Mariners. Alex Liddi also drove in a run as Seattle matched its longest spring win streak since 2004.

Brandon Belt had two hits, including a homer, and scored both runs for the Giants, who are winless in their last five games. Brandon Crawford and Cole Gillespie also drove in runs.

Garland was satisfied with a brief outing in which he allowed a hit and walked one in one inning.

''To a certain extent I felt that was where I belonged,'' Garland said. ''I felt good about that.''

Garland's impressive resume includes two 18-win seasons (2005, 2006) for the Chicago White Sox. He has won at least 12 games seven times and pitched at least 200 innings in six seasons. He has a 132-119 record with a 4.32 ERA in 330 starts.

Smoak is hitting .583 this spring with six RBIs.

Giants ace Matt Cain lasted three innings, giving up three runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out two.

''Everything felt good,'' Cain said. ''I was inconsistent with my location. I was a little bit out of rhythm and I'll need to work on that.''

Cain said he declined an invitation to play with Team USA because of the way the Giants' season played out last year and throwing an excess of pitches.

''I just felt better in taking some time and going through spring training,'' Cain said. ''With the (World Baseball Classic) you had to ramp it up early. I felt I could benefit from spring training.''

The Giants' - and the Cincinnati Reds' - rotation stayed healthy and each made all their starts last year. That hasn't happened since the 2005 White Sox pitching staff went through a healthy season.

''You know it's rare when it hasn't been done for a while,'' Cain said. ''It's hard to stay healthy. Then you get five guys trying to stay together. I just want to make all my starts. If I can do that, I feel good things will happen.''

NOTES: Garland allowed three runs on five hits over six innings in his last Major League appearance on June 2, 2011. ... The Mariners have hit a Major League best 14 home runs. ... LHP James Paxton will start Friday's game against the Texas Rangers. ... Giants manager Bruce Bochy wrote a lineup that included most of his Opening Day starters, including Cain. He cited the loss of several players to the World Baseball Classic this weekend as the reason. ... LHP Madison Bumgarner will make his second start of the spring for the Giants at Oakland on Friday. He will be opposed by A's RHP Jarrod Parker. ... The Giants played to a tie in each of their previous three games and all six games have been decided by three runs or less.

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