SAN FRANCISCO -- Diligent practice has helped Andres Torres gain more consistency at the plate, particularly as a left-handed batter.The switch-hitting Torres entered the season with a .284 career average batting right-handed, compared to .198 left-handed. The difference was more pronounced last year, Torres' first with the Giants. He hit .338 as a righty and .210 from the left side. Sunday, however, Torres not only tied a personal best with three hits but also collected each of them left-handed, the first time in his career he has had that many swinging left-handed in one game. Saturday, Torres broke a scoreless tie with a sharp single up the middle batting left-handed against St. Louis' Adam Wainwright. Torres attributed his improvement to the tutelage of hitting coach Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens and teammate Pablo Sandoval, a fellow switch-hitter. Torres said that he and Sandoval throw soft-toss batting practice to each other daily, taking one-handed swings, using both hands, from each side of the plate. "It's a good habit," said Torres, who put a five-game hitting streak on the line Monday against Philadelphia ace Roy Halladay. "Bam Bam told us to stay with our routine all season." Torres also said that he has benefited from the advice he received during Spring Training from Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who suggested that he stop wiggling his bat excessively while awaiting a pitch.
Uribe, Rowand doing fine
SAN FRANCISCO -- Juan Uribe looked good Monday as he pumped home runs into the left-field seats during early batting practice, but the Giants infielder remains bothered by tightness in his right elbow and likely won't be able to play defensively until Wednesday.Throwing continues to bother Uribe, who planned to continue resting his arm Monday and Tuesday. He began feeling discomfort in the elbow Saturday, when he played two innings before leaving the game. Uribe, who owns a .310 batting average and a team-high 11 RBIs, remained available to pinch-hit. Meanwhile, center fielder Aaron Rowand remained on course to return from the 15-day disabled list Sunday, the first day he's eligible for activation. Rowand, who sustained bone fractures around his left cheek and eye when he was hit by a pitch from the Dodgers' Vicente Padilla, has been participating fully in baseball-related activities. "He's driving us all nuts," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. He added in a more serious vein, "We miss him. We're having a tough time in that leadoff spot." Rowand took a .304 batting average to the sidelines while hitting exclusively leadoff. Since his departure, Giants leadoff hitters had compiled a .182 average (6-for-33) entering Monday.
Sandoval slated for San Jose homecoming
SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval heads the list of alumni expected to appear Wednesday at the San Jose Giants' inaugural "Homecoming Night."San Jose, home of San Francisco's high-Class A California League affiliate, has been a stop for numerous big league Giants during their ascent through the Minors. That contingent includes Sandoval, who hit .287 in 2007 with San Jose before batting a rousing .359 in 68 games with the club the following season, which prompted his rise to the Majors later that year. Current Giants scheduled to join Sandoval, the popular third baseman, include right-handers Sergio Romo and Waldis Joaquin, left-hander Dan Runzler and infielder Matt Downs, plus former Giants catcher Guillermo Rodriguez. San Francisco has a 12:45 p.m. PT series finale against Philadelphia scheduled for Wednesday. That should enable players to arrive at San Jose in time for pregame ceremonies, which are slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. San Jose faces Stockton that night beginning at 7.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.