OAKLAND -- Johnny Cueto couldn't have picked a better time to have his best start of the spring.
Pitching for the first time since Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija got hurt, Cueto allowed one run over 5 1/3 innings against the A's, striking out six. His fastball, which was down a few ticks in some previous exhibition outings, was back in range, and his changeup was particularly effective.
"We got him where we wanted," manager Bruce Bochy said. "I thought he controlled the ball well and mixed it up. That's a good final start for him before he makes his start in L.A."
Cueto is expected to start Friday at Dodger Stadium, although Bochy added some intrigue to the discussion a few hours after naming Ty Blach the opening day starter. He said he would have more on the rotation order before Monday's game.
Regardless of the order, Cueto will have to carry a heavy load. Without Bumgarner and Samardzija, the Giants can't afford for Cueto to have a repeat of last season.
"It hurts to not have those guys out there," Cueto said. "But I don't think I have to do more (than normal). I just have to do what Johnny Cueto is capable of doing. I have to help my teammates and win games."
--- Bochy expects the staff to make final roster decisions Monday and possibly announce the team Tuesday. Several players helped their cause in a 5-1 win. Steven Duggar robbed a homer with a slick catch at the wall in center and Derek Law and Pierce Johnson pitched well in relief. Law pitched two innings and Johnson was dominant in the ninth.
Bochy said both are still in the mix for bullpen spots. With the injuries, the Giants will add an arm or two to the bullpen.