MESA, Ariz. — With their ace already sidelined by a pair of minor injuries, the Giants very nearly lost their No. 2 starter, too. Johnny Cueto took a line drive off the forehead in the first inning Monday, but manager Bruce Bochy said Cueto is showing no signs of a concussion.
Cueto was checked by team doctors back at Scottsdale Stadium and was diagnosed with a contusion. He will be monitored for a couple of days to make sure he is not concussed. The Giants have learned the hard way that a player often doesn’t show symptoms immediately after getting hit.
Billy Burns smoked the first pitch of the game back up the middle and Cueto took a glancing blow off the forehead. He told Bochy and trainer Dave Groeschner that he thought the liner nicked his glove first, slowing it down. Cueto wanted to stay in the game and he went on to pitch three full innings before heading back to Scottsdale.
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“Nothing scares me more than that, what happened to him,” Bochy said. “It’s his first night game, the first pitch of the game, and I’m sure he didn’t recognize it off the bat. That’s a scary moment.
“He answered all (the concussion test) questions. He wanted to stay out there.”
Cueto gave up a three-run homer to Josh Reddick two batters later but didn’t allow another run. He appeared to be fine, and was the first one back on the field for the bottom of the second and then again for the bottom of the third.
“It shows how tough he is,” Bochy said. “We kept telling him, we’ve got you covered, but he was adamant he wanted to keep pitching.”
Cueto missed his first start of the spring because the staff wanted to slow-play him after a long 2014 season. Matt Cain (cyst removed) has been sidelined all spring but will make his debut Friday. Madison Bumgarner missed his last start and may miss one more because of nerve irritation in his foot and pain in the ribcage area.
NOTEWORTHY: Cory Gearrin pitched 1 1/3 and has now given up just one run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings this spring. He’s out of options, and the Giants might have Chris Heston in their rotation in early April. Gearrin looks like he’s in position to make this team … Trevor Brown raised his spring average to .357. If the Giants want to keep a third catcher, Brown is certainly doing his part ... Gorkys Hernandez stayed hot with a triple off Sonny Gray ... Matt Duffy homered off Gray. Unfortunately, the Tortoise Race is over ... Billy Burns pulled a Josh Reddick, twice robbing Giants with diving catches.
LIGHTER SIDE: Sergio Romo hasn’t pitched yet this spring, and he’s starting to get a little antsy.