TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -Hideki Matsui singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, Joe Saunders struck out a spring-best six and the Los Angeles Angels rallied to beat the San Francisco Giants 4-3 Saturday.
Torii Hunter tied it at 3 with an RBI double before Matsui singled to right, giving the Angels the lead for good against the team with the best overall record this spring. San Francisco is 19-8 and needs three more wins in its final eight games to post its best exhibition record since going 25-8 in 1964.
Saunders allowed three runs and a spring-high seven hits in 4 1-3 innings in his fourth start.
``I just tried to get ahead of guys. I thought I did a pretty job,' he said. ``I feel like I'm right on track. My changeup was good. My fastball could've been better. It was a good battle.'
Making his final spring start, Barry Zito gave up four runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings for the Giants. The left-hander retired seven consecutive batters during one stretch.
``I feel good, healthy. Everything is working pretty good,' he said. ``I've just got to bust my (butt). It's all I can say.'
Saunders retired eight of the first nine batters he faced. He worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth with three consecutive strikeouts.
``When the heat is on, you can treat it like a spring training game,' he said. ``I thought, `Let's try to get out of it and minimize damage.''
The Giants again loaded the bases in the fifth, with Saunders sandwiching walks to Andres Torres and Pablo Sandoval around a single to Mark DeRosa. Bengie Molina hit a bases-clearing double against his former team, putting the Giants back in front, 3-2.
Bobby Abreu, who at 36 is the oldest player on the Angels' 40-man roster, hit his second homer of the spring, giving Los Angeles a 2-0 lead in the third.
NOTES: Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he would wait a couple more days before announcing a starter for the season opener against Minnesota on April 5. ... The Giants are in the midst of a stretch during which they play 20 straight games, including the regular season, before their next scheduled off day on April 8.
The Associated Press News Service
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