LOS ANGELES -- The Giants wouldn't let Aubrey Huff easily forget his hustling but mildly awkward catch in Saturday's game.Huff dove headlong to snare Tony Gwynn's shallow fly with two outs and two on in the seventh inning, preserving the Giants' shutout. Some of his teammates found his face-planting defensive style somewhat amusing. So on Sunday, Pat Burrell, Huff's buddy, used white athletic tape to simulate a chalk outline of his friend's sprawled form on the outfield grass, as if he had been a crime victim. Dan Runzler served as Huff's body double. Manager Bruce Bochy had referred to Huff as "Nanu," after a Jan-Michael Vincent character from a 1973 film, "The World's Greatest Athlete." Huff delights in jokingly calling himself the team's best athlete, particularly when his switching defensive positions is the subject.
"I think he lost that title," Bochy said.
Wilson throws well in simulated game
LOS ANGELES -- Brian Wilson appears poised to rejoin the Giants' active roster. It's simply a matter of whether it happens soon or sooner.This became apparent Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium when Wilson threw smoothly during a 27-pitch simulated game. Wilson, who's recovering from a strained oblique in his left side, isn't eligible to leave the 15-day disabled list until Wednesday. But a decision on Wilson's status could be made as early as Monday's scheduled off-day, when doctors are expected to re-examine him. Wilson rated his session as "excellent." Manager Bruce Bochy agreed, though he admitted feeling mildly concerned that Wilson hasn't pitched on back-to-back days or made a multiple-inning stint. Wilson normally would meet those prerequisites in Spring Training. But back trouble hampered his progress early in Spring Training, and he never pitched after injuring his side on March 23. Wilson's teammates declared him fit. Eli Whiteside and Pat Burrell hit drives that probably would have fallen for doubles, but otherwise Wilson induced mostly harmless ground balls as he also faced Mike Fontenot and Nate Schierholtz. Burrell was Wilson's lone strikeout victim in 11 at-bats.' "He had a little extra on the ball," Fontenot said. "He moved the ball around. He was being Wilson. I think I saw fire come out of his nose." "He looked like he's ready to me," Whiteside said.
Sandoval a versatile piece in Giants' batting order
LOS ANGELES -- In his first three games this season, Pablo Sandoval hit fifth, sixth and eighth. Expect his migrations through the batting order to continue throughout the year.As a switch-hitter, Sandoval displays different characteristics from each side. He's typically more proficient batting left-handed. Last year, he hit .282 against right-handed pitchers and .245 off lefties.
"Sometimes he'll be batting eighth against left-handed pitching," manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday.But with right-hander Hiroki Kuroda starting the series finale for Los Angeles, Sandoval rose to fifth in the order. Bochy pointed out that this also gave the Giants a left-right combination of hitters throughout the lineup. Bochy's willingness to use Sandoval anywhere in the batting order isn't surprising. When he's thriving, his ability to hit for power or average makes him a candidate to occupy virtually any spot. As Bochy repeated, "I like where he is [in terms of performance] right now."
Sandoval belted his first homer of the year in the second inning.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.