Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro took live batting practice for the first time this spring and participated in team fielding drills Wednesday. But while Scutaro said he’s seeing improvement in his ailing back, he wasn’t ready to declare if he’ll be available on Opening Day.
“I don’t want to say nothing right now, just because backs are tricky,” Scutaro said. “I can tell you right now, yeah, I feel great, and then wake up tomorrow and can’t even walk or something. So we’re just going to go day by day.”
Scutaro has yet to play in a game this spring, and manager Bruce Bochy recently said the Giants might have to start considering contingency plans if the 38-year-old has not played by this weekend.
Scutaro said his back gets fatigued quickly when swinging a bat and “we want to get to a point where it’s a little stronger.” He said he believes he could play right now, but the goal of waiting is to build strength in his back and core muscles to where the back isn’t a recurring issue like it was last season.
“I played with worse (pain) last year,” Scutaro said. “My point is I want to feel like I’m able to compete ever day, play a game and go back to my apartment and get some rest and feel like I actually got some rest – not dealing with the pain the whole night.”
The Giants intended to work Scutaro in slowly this spring, with assistant general manager Bobby Evans reiterating Wednesday the process is “an investment in his season to get him as strong and ready as we can, so you don’t run into these bumps during the year.”
• Tim Lincecum threw four scoreless innings before allowing his first runs of the spring in the fifth inning of the Giants’ 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox. It was the longest outing of the spring for Lincecum, who exited after 41/3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits with three strikeouts.
Scott Kazmir silenced the Royals for four innings in his second start of the spring. He has not allowed a run and only three hits over seven innings. He has five strikeouts.
“Wasn’t particularly sharp today, but a lot of my pitches got me out of some jams. Secondary pitches. Just one of those where you don’t feel 100 percent but you go out there and make pitches,” Kazmir said. “It’s a good test for me to be able to do that early in spring training.”
A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson threw out Perez at first base to start the fifth inning when Donaldson ran in to scoop up the deflection of Perez’s line drive off pitcher Fernando Nieve and fired to first base for the out. Nieve remained in the game.