GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Had this been a regular-season game, Giants fans would have canonized Melky Cabrera.Instead, it was a meaningless March exhibition, leaving the Giants and their followers to ponder what could be if Cabrera continues his torrid hitting -- which crested Tuesday with a pair of home runs in the Giants' 8-4 exhibition victory over the archrival Los Angeles Dodgers. The switch-hitting Cabrera homered from each side of the plate. His first-inning drive off Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly traveled so far and so fast over the left-field barrier that the Los Angeles defenders didn't even move. Cabrera struck again in the sixth, when he cleared the right-field wall off right-hander Ramon Troncoso. "I don't care if it's Spring Training. That's impressive," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Few guys have done that or can do that." Cabrera, who's hitting .455, is projected to bat second in the Giants' lineup. But he might settle into more of a run-producing spot if he sustains his spring performance. "He just looks very confident," Bochy said. "He just does his thing. He's very humble. He doesn't say a lot, but he gets his work in." Indeed, Cabrera repeated bromides about working hard and appreciating the opportunity he's receiving with the Giants, who acquired him from Kansas City during the offseason for left-handers Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo. "I'm hitting the ball well. I'm happy to be here," Cabrera said, speaking through an interpreter. "I come in and do my work and I'm happy to see the results."
Zito feels sharp in first spring outing
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Barry Zito allowed two runs in two-plus innings in the Giants' 8-4 exhibition victory Tuesday over the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the more important figures associated with him might have been 35 and 28.The first indicated the number of pitches he threw. The second represented how many were strikes. "He was right around the [strike] zone, and that's what he has to do -- be more aggressive early in the count," catcher Eli Whiteside said. Zito especially challenged hitters in the first inning, when he struck out Matt Kemp and Juan Rivera to strand a runner on second base. He elevated his pitches somewhat in the second inning, which began with Andre Ethier's home run. "Everything was definitely sharper," Zito said, adding that he still needs to work on synchronizing his delivery, which he begins from a lower crouch. He therefore went out for the third inning to work on his windup. His outing ended as Mark Ellis, his former Oakland teammate, drilled a leadoff double. "I thought Barry looked great. Terrific job," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He should feel good about that outing." Zito's fastball ranged between 81-83 mph, which struck him and Whiteside as surprisingly low. Zito noted that the difference in speed between his breaking pitches and his fastball is more critical than his highest velocity, anyway. Zito might still be adjusting to a new element of his game: his weight. He's at 220 pounds, about 12 to 15 higher than his previous playing weight.
"I've got a big frame and I've never really taken advantage of it," the 6-foot-2 left-hander said.
Asked whether he thought this might help him add velocity or stamina, he said, "Maybe just a little bit of everything. I figure, why not try something new? Plus, I get to eat more."
Posey reports improvement in baserunning
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants catcher Buster Posey remained on course Tuesday to resume playing, as he tested his recovering left leg with an extensive baserunning session.Posey, who's expected to make his Cactus League debut by the end of the week, said that he felt better than he did during a similar baserunning exercise about 10 days ago. "Since the start of the spring, I've been happy that I've been able to do all the baseball activities," Posey said. "Everything's felt good." Posey said that he might run the bases again Wednesday, but wasn't certain. What he knows without a doubt is that he's hungry for baseball, even if he appears in his first game as a designated hitter, as manager Bruce Bochy hinted. "I'm anxious to play," Posey said. "I mean, I sat out since the end of May last year. So of course I'm ready to play."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.