San Francisco Giants

Giants’ Matt Cain ‘on his way’ to being ready for season

MESA, Ariz. -- The Giants want Matt Cain to be in the 90-pitch range before he makes his first start this season. Cain threw 44 pitches against the A’s on Saturday, and manager Bruce Bochy said he was encouraged by the right-hander’s outing despite his line of four runs allowed on six hits in 1 2/3 innings.

"I liked what I saw from him," Bochy said. "He’s on his way, he looks good. I like his delivery."

Cain said he missed locations on a few pitches particularly in the second inning, when he allowed a pair of RBI singles and had another run charged to him when Ben Zobrist hit an RBI double off reliever Braulio Lara. On the positive side, he had to pitch in traffic after breezing through two innings in his first Cactus League start.

"We got the pitch count up, I got to pretty much work every scenario," Cain said. "Just got to make better pitches in some situations."

Cain said he’ll have to pitch into the sixth inning in a Cactus League start to really feel ready for the season. Bochy agreed with that threshold and said the Giants have plenty of time to stretch Cain out before the season starts.

"He left a couple pitches up there with two strikes, but I think overall he looked really good at times," Bochy said. "We got him to where we wanted him."

* Bochy said right-hander Tim Lincecum’s sore neck was "about the same" Saturday. "I can’t say he’s made a lot of progress. He got his treatment today, and we’re hoping he’s feeling better tomorrow."

Sergio Romo, meanwhile, is targeted to make his spring debut Sunday. Romo has not pitched in a game yet due to shoulder soreness.

* The Giants’ split squad in Mesa beat the A’s this afternoon, 5-2, in front of a sellout crowd at HoHoKam Stadium. Their night game against the Diamondbacks is close to getting underway at Salt River Fields. Here’s the lineup for the nightcap:

RF Aoki

2B Panik

CF Pagan

1B Belt

3B Duvall

LF Maxwell

SS Arias

C Quiroz

P Vogelsong

Call The Bee’s Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015. See his baseball coverage at Follow him on Twitter at @matthewkawahara.