Harden hurls three strong innings

Harden hurls three strong innings

A's 5, GIANTS 3
at Scottsdale, Ariz.
Friday, March 9

A's at the plate: Mike Piazza drove in the game's first run with a fourth-inning double, his third of the spring. Charles Thomas followed two outs later by driving in Piazza with a single. Piazza, 2-for-3 with two RBIs, is now 6-for-12 (.500) on the spring with six RBIs.

Giants at the plate: Barry Bonds hit his first homer of the spring to lead off the third on a 1-and-1 pitch from right-hander Esteban Loaiza, who had just entered the game. He was 1-for-2 and is now 4-for-9 (.444) on the spring with a pair of doubles and three RBIs. Lance Niekro followed later in the inning with a two-run homer, also his first of the spring.

A's on the mound: Rich Harden made his first Cactus League start after one relief appearance. Harden worked three innings, setting the side down in order in the first and second. He allowed three hits and no runs, walking none and whiffing four. Loaiza left the game after facing five batters because he felt he didn't warm up properly.

Giants on the mound: Russ Ortiz also made his first Cactus League start after two relief appearances. Ortiz threw three innings of scoreless ball, allowing four hits, walking none and striking out one.

Cactus League records: A's 4-4; Giants 7-3.

Up next: The A's play the White Sox at Tucson Electric Park on Saturday, with left-hander Brad Halsey scheduled to make the start. The Giants play the Rangers in Scottsdale and left-hander Barry Zito is slated to make his third start of the spring.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.