LOS ANGELES -- Aaron Rowand's sacrifice bunt in Tuesday night's ninth inning was a mostly overlooked element of the Giants' go-ahead three-run rally against the Dodgers.It also was rare, since it was Rowand's first such bunt since May 17, 2007, when he played with Philadelphia. But Rowand's technique wasn't at all rusty, as he proved by sacrificing on the first pitch he saw from Jonathan Broxton to advance Edgar Renteria and pinch-runner Nate Schierholtz to second and third base, respectively. Rowand attributed his proficiency largely to his training at Cal State-Fullerton under highly regarded coach Augie Garrido. "No matter who you were -- Phil Nevin, Mark Kotsay, it didn't matter -- if you couldn't bunt, you weren't playing for Augie," Rowand said Wednesday. "There were hours and hours and hours spent bunting in college." Rowand added that the simple fact of being called upon to bunt motivated him to execute properly. "Against a guy like Broxton, it's a little tougher than average," Rowand said. "The key in that situation is making sure you don't pop the bunt up. Get on top of the ball and make sure it goes down."
Bochy credits catching for spotting 'the visit'
LOS ANGELES -- Bruce Bochy acknowledged that his background as a Major League catcher raised his consciousness about baseball's rules, which the Giants manager proved Tuesday by recognizing immediately that acting Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had erred by turning back toward the pitcher's mound, constituting a second visit."There's a saying, 'You can't lose the mound,'" Bochy said Wednesday. "As a catcher, I can remember coming to the dugout and then going to the mound; that really constitutes a visit. If you get your shinguard fixed and you go right to the mound, they can charge you with a visit." Bochy, who has been in professional baseball since 1975, said that he reviews the rulebook "every now and then" to refresh his memory.
"You have to remind yourself to highlight certain rules," he said.Not all of Bochy's players shared his acumen. He recalled that one Major League catcher who played for him visited the pitcher to adjust his mask and was warned by an umpire that doing so again would result in a trip to the mound being charged.
Taschner joins rival Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- Jack Taschner has played with three organizations since he and the Giants parted ways in Spring Training of 2009. But opposing San Francisco suddenly felt a little strange to Taschner, now that the left-hander is pitching for their archrival."Definitely, for me, it's a whole new experience," said Taschner, the newest Los Angeles Dodgers reliever whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday. "It was weird shagging [during] batting practice and not getting called names. It'll be really weird not to get booed coming out of the bullpen. I spent a long time in a Giants uniform, so it's a big change." Taschner said that hating the Dodgers was part of the culture during his 10 seasons in the Giants organization (1999-2008). "All the way from instructional league to Triple-A," he said. Visiting Dodger Stadium with a team other than the Giants just isn't the same, Taschner admitted. The volume of the verbal abuse is much softer.
"Sitting down there in the bullpen with a Phillies uniform on was nothing like sitting down there with a Giants uniform on," Taschner said. "It wasn't even the same ballpark. I had to explain to the guys what it was like to be a Giant in Dodger Stadium."
Giants' offense heating up in July
LOS ANGELES -- Though offense remains a perceived need for the Giants, they led the National League in runs scored during July entering Wednesday's action.San Francisco had totaled 99 runs, five more than second-place Chicago. The Giants' ability to overcome a 5-1 deficit on Tuesday and rally past the Dodgers, 7-5, demonstrated their scoring potential. "When we started the season, this is what we hoped we were going to do," hitting coach Hensley Meulens said. Rookie catcher Buster Posey (.446 batting average in July before Wednesday, with an .846 slugging percentage) has made an obvious difference. Aubrey Huff (.356) has been productive all season. Andres Torres (.298) has continued to contribute, while Travis Ishikawa (.378) has made the most of his limited opportunities. Four Giants own on-base percentages of .375 or higher during July: Posey (.486), Huff (.451), Ishikawa (.415) and Torres (.375).
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.