0

Posey turns 25, catches for ace Lincecum for first time this spring

Lee County native Buster Posey caught five innings in Tuesday’s spring training game against the Angels, but Posey has yet to play an entire nine innings this spring.

Lee County native Buster Posey caught five innings in Tuesday’s spring training game against the Angels, but Posey has yet to play an entire nine innings this spring.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Lee County native Buster Posey celebrated his 25th birthday Tuesday behind the plate against the Los Angeles Angels.

Posey, who is slowly making his way back from last year’s season-ending injury, caught Giants ace Tim Lincecum for the first time this spring as Los Angeles won, 5-3.

The only hurdle left in Posey’s comeback from the broken ankle is to play nine innings.

“But that could have been done the past few days,” Giants coach Bruce Bochy said about Posey, who was 0-for-2 at the plate Tuesday. “He’ll tell you he could have finished the games. I’m not concerned about nine innings for him.”

Brad Mills matched Lincecum pretty much pitch for pitch.

Mills tossed six strong innings to lift the Angels to victory in a game that was delayed in the ninth inning when a 50-year-old female fan was hit by a piece of a broken bat from the Angels’ Mark Trumbo. Paramedics were called and the fan, who was seated behind the Angels’ third-base dugout, was taken for medical attention. She was able to walk out of Scottsdale Stadium, moments before Alexi Amarista’s three-run double off Javier Lopez broke a 2-all tie.

Lincecum was solid in his next-to-last spring start but the Giants’ two-time Cy Young Award winner admitted to some frustration with his fastball command. He gave up two runs and five hits in five innings, striking out two and walking two.

The right-hander retired his first six batters, then issued a walk to Peter Bourjos and gave up a run-scoring double to Bobby Wilson.

The same combination worked for the Angels in the fifth, when Bourjos doubled and Wilson singled him home.

Lincecum also twice ran up three-ball counts on Mills.

“It’s been frustrating as a pitcher just knowing that you can’t control a fastball … your go-to pitch and the one every other pitch works off of,” Lincecum said. “When it’s not working, and you can’t throw a strike to a pitcher who’s not swinging the bat, that’s frustrating.”

Mills allowed two runs and four hits. The 27-year-old left-hander, who has pitched in 14 big league games for Toronto, likely will start the season at Triple-A Salt Lake despite a 1.23 ERA this spring.