PHOENIX — Rich Harden was happy with his last spring start, while all around him the A's clubhouse was a whirlwind of activity with players and support staff preparing for a trip to Japan.
Harden pitched six strong innings for the A's split squad in a 6-1 loss to the Angels on Wednesday, allowing two runs and eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts. After the game, the Athletics were set to fly to Tokyo, where the team will play exhibition games this weekend against Japanese teams and open the season with two games against the Red Sox on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"I felt good, I got my work in and now I'm looking forward to getting the season going," Harden said. "I wanted to go out with the same intensity I'd have in the regular season. I let a few more go."
The A's won their other split squad game, beating the Chicago Cubs 5-2 in Mesa, Ariz.
Vladimir Guerrero hit a grand slam in the seventh off Keith Foulke, and Gary Matthews went 4 for 4 for the Angels.
Guerrero, a noted bad-ball hitter, swung at a pitch that was well outside of the strike zone for his third home run of the spring. He also took over the team lead with 13 RBIs.
CUBS (SS) 4, GIANTS 2, at Scottsdale, Ariz. — Dan Ortmeier, Dave Roberts, Rajai Davis and Ray Durham each had two hits for San Francisco in the loss to Chicago.
"We were swinging the bats well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We were missing the big hit."
The Giants ended Jon Lieber's scoreless streak at 11 innings when Ortmeier singled home Durham in the fourth inning. Lieber hasn't allowed a run in 13 of his 15 innings.
ROCKIES 10, WHITE SOX 10, at Tucson, Ariz. — Former Modesto Nuts pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez gave up four runs in four innings in Colorado's tie with Chicago.
"I wasn't as secure with my pitches. All of them were up in the strike zone," Jimenez said.
Troy Tulowitzki, another former Nut, homered for Colorado. Chicago's Jim Thome belted two home runs.
SHORT HOPS — Nomar Garciaparra has a broken bone in his right hand, and the Los Angeles Dodgers' third baseman might not be ready for opening day. ... Atlanta outfielder Jeff Francoeur, hit in the face by a pitch over the weekend, hopes to play today against Detroit. ... Joba Chamberlain will begin the season in the New York Yankees' bullpen.