Notes: Feliz filling in ably
Versatile Giant has softened blow of losing Bonds
SAN DIEGO -- Giants manager Felipe Alou offered a ringing endorsement on Monday for utilityman Pedro Feliz, who came into the contest against the Padres having hit safely in nine of 11 games, batting .311 with three home runs and a team-leading 14 RBIs.
He's doing all this while filling in as best he can for Barry Bonds in left field.
Whatever problems Feliz has had in the outfield, he certainly has not brought them to the plate.
"I knew he was that kind of guy," said Alou. "This guy will do anything you'll tell him. He'll try, he'll try. I've never seen anybody like that.
"He's kind of a guy who can play center field, second base, shortstop -- he'll do anything to help the team. He never put any doubts or says, 'Well, I don't know,' He will always say, 'I'll try to do it.'"
When someone asked if the media could be present when Feliz might be asked to catch, Alou said that Feliz worked on catching two years ago, and would continue to contribute because of his versatility.
"For the time being that's how he's going to get his at-bats," Alou said. "Pedro isn't the kind of guy who is going to force a trade. He loves the Giants."
Alou believes that Feliz is improving his defense in the outfield.
"There's a tendency for infielders-turned-outfielders to break back on every ball," said Alou. "There's a great fear of the ball going over your head, especially when a right-handed hitter is at the plate, but Pedro's getting better. He's not panicking.
"He's also starting to use his legs better to throw. The first few days, he was all arms. But he's coming along."
Indeed, Feliz flashed some leather in the second inning on Monday when he tracked down a line drive by Ramon Hernandez in right-center.
Giants are road warriors: The Giants, who are winding up their three-city, seven-game road trip, are trying to match their franchise record of six straight seasons with a winning road record. The New York Giants rattled off six straight winning road campaigns from 1933-38.
Since 2000, the Giants have posted a 217-190 (.533) ledger, which is the third-best in the National League over that span. Only Atlanta (237-173, .579) and St. Louis (221-188, .542) have fared better away from home over the last five-plus seasons in the senior circuit.
Tucker hits, gets hit: Michael Tucker, who delivered his second game-winning grand slam in eight days on Sunday, was hit on the right knee by Jake Peavy in his first at-bat on Monday. However, he walked down to first base and stayed in the game.
Giants manager Felipe Alou said that even with the likely return of Moises Alou on Friday, Tucker will still see plenty of time.
"I talked with Michael at Spring Training and told him that he would get his at-bats," said Alou. "How many? I have no idea. I know that this is his last year for his contract. I will do the best I can to play him. He's already having a good year."
Tucker came into Monday's game with a .276 batting average, three home runs and 13 RBIs.
Alou acknowledged that Tucker looks more comfortable out in right field than in left field.
The manager also noted that Spring Training wasn't really long enough for the Giants to fully experiment with different players in different positions, particularly in terms of getting Feliz ready to play left field.
Sandy Burgin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.