DENVER -- Closer Brian Wilson made his first appearance in over a month and pitched a scoreless eighth after being activated following a stay on the disabled list for a month with right elbow inflammation.
Before the Giants' 12-5 win over the Rockies, manager Bruce Bochy said would look for "the right situation" to use Wilson and have him throw in the bullpen if it didn't arise.
Bochy said because of "the unknown factor," he wasn't going to use Wilson in a ninth-inning save situation Sunday but would return him to his closer's role Tuesday at Los Angeles when the Giants open a three-game series.
In the Giants' lopsided victory over the Rockies, Bochy found the ideal low-stress situation to use Wilson, who is 35-for-40 in save opportunities and 6-4 with a 3.15 ERA and had missed 30 games since he last pitched Aug. 15.
Wilson struck out Tommy Field, a rookie playing his sixth Major League game, and pitcher Jason Hammel and got Eric Young Jr. to foul out when left fielder Justin Christian leaped into the stands to make the catch. Wilson threw 16 pitches, including 10 strikes.
"He used all his pitches," Bochy said. "One thing we didn't want him to do was throw nothing but fastballs, pitch a little bit. He almost went the other way, but I thought he did a nice job."
The Giants have nine scheduled games remaining in the regular season. Bochy said it would be good mentally for Wilson to enter the offseason having returned to his closer's role following his long absence from the mound.
"I know he's anxious," Bochy said. "He feels he's ready. You always look at the risk vs. the reward theory there, but he feels like he's ready to go. He'd be disappointed going into Spring Training being on the DL for two months at the end of the year before. I don't think he wants to go through the winter like that."
While the Giants bullpen has done well in Wilson's absence and in particular Santiago Casilla, who went 5-for-5 in save opportunities with Wilson sidelined, Wilson's return allows Bochy to return his relievers to their usual late-inning roles at a crucial time. The Giants, riding a season-high eight-game winning streak, are trying to catch the D-backs in the National League West and the Braves in the Wild Card race and Wilson can help in that quest.
"There's a sense of urgency to get him back," Bochy said.
Fontenot starts as Keppinger takes break
DENVER -- Second baseman Mike Fontenot made his second start of the month Sunday, the other coming Sept. 7. He entered the game 1-for-7 this month and hit a two-run homer off the facing of the second deck in right field on his first at-bat. It was Fontenot's fourth homer of the season.
Fontenot started in place of Jeff Keppinger, who went 1-for-11 in the first three games of the series and has three hits in his past 22 at-bats.
Keppinger's bunt in the eighth inning Saturday night played a key role in the Giants' four-run rally that led to their 6-5 victory. The bunt occurred after Andres Torres led off the inning with a single. The Giants were trailing, 3-2, at the time.
Keppinger's bunt was too hard, but pitcher Huston Street threw wide of second base and into center field.
"We got a break on that, because it could have been a double play," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Keppinger was bunting on his own, Bochy said. Trailing by one run on the road, Bochy said he wasn't going to give the sign for a sacrifice, because Carlos Beltran, one of the Giants' better hitters, would then get intentionally walked.
Injured left wrist sidelines Stewart
DENVER -- Catcher Chris Stewart was sore and unavailable Sunday after he got hit in the left wrist Saturday night with a bat when Ty Wigginton followed through taking a swing in the fifth. X-rays were negative.
The injury occurred in the fifth inning with the Giants trailing, 2-1. Stewart said he couldn't swing or grab the bat, but manager Bruce Bochy asked Stewart whether he could catch the sixth, and Bochy would pinch-hit for Stewart when his No. 8 spot in the batting order came up in the seventh. That way, Bochy said, he could have pinch-hitting options depending on whom Rockies manager Jim Tracy had pitching rather than getting locked in to a catcher in the No. 8 spot in the lineup by immediately replacing Stewart.
"It was a pretty long inning," Bochy said of the Rockies' sixth, when they got three hits, scored twice and had six men bat against Guillermo Mota. As the inning was winding down, Bochy said Stewart was catching every ball gingerly "and hurting pretty good."
Jack Etkin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.