OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -Justin Duchscherer gave up one run and three hits in six innings and the Oakland Athletics beat the San Francisco Giants 6-2 on Saturday.
Duchscherer retired the final 10 batters he faced. He is making the transformation from reliever to starter this season.
``I'm very excited about this,'' said Duchscherer. ``I haven't started for a while. My last two starts I'm definitely satisfied with. My pitch count is what we wanted going into the season.''
Duchscherer continued throwing in the bullpen after leaving the game.
``I threw only 71 pitches so I went to the bullpen and threw another 12,'' said Duchscherer. ``That's like a seven-inning start.''
Duchscherer is scheduled to make his first start since Sept. 20, 2003 on Friday against the Cleveland Indians. Since his last start in 2003, Duchscherer has made 188 relief appearances.
``I thought he pitched well,'' A's manager Bob Geren said. ``He gave up that leadoff walk to start the game. Other than that, he pounded the strike zone. He's been very impressive this spring.''
Giants starter Matt Palmer gave up two hits in five innings. One of the hits was Emil Brown's two-run homer in the fourth.
``I don't over do myself,'' Palmer said. ``I know what I have. I don't try and throw the ball too hard, I use my movement.''
Palmer could end up being one of the first pitchers called back up by the Giants if anyone gets hurt.
``He's thrown great,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ``That's why we brought him back up here to let him pitch again.''
Notes: After the game, Bochy announced that Rich Aurilia will be the opening day starter at first base over Dan Ortmeier. ... A's 1B Daric Barton was a late scratch with a sore left wrist. ... Giants SS Omar Vizquel will play the infield for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic left knee surgery on February 27 in two minor league games in Phoenix on Saturday and Sunday. ... Giants RHP Vinny Chulk will pitch in a minor league game on Sunday. ... Giants INF Eugenio Velez stole two bases increasing his major-league leading total this spring to 16. ... The Giants sent backup catcher Eliezer Alfonzo, who hit .091 this spring, to Triple-A Fresno. Non-roster catcher Steve Holm is the only catcher left in camp besides starter Bengie Molina. ... The A's optioned LHP Dallas Braden and OFs Jeff Fiorentino and Carlos Gonzalez to Triple-A Sacramento.

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