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05/18/08 5:23 PM ET

Castillo on the rise in batting order

Third baseman hitting well since returning to AT&T Park

SAN FRANCISCO -- With infielder Jose Castillo swinging a hot bat, Giants manager Bruce Bochy wanted to take advantage and slotted him into the No. 2 spot in the order against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Castillo thinks it's all the work he's been putting in since joining the Giants late in Spring Training after being waived by the Florida Marlins.

"I have been working on using the whole field," Castillo said. "It's good to use center field and right field. I've been focusing on that, especially right field."

A week ago, Castillo's average fell to .228. Since he's returned to AT&T Park, his average has risen to .262 entering Sunday's contest.

"He's been swinging the bat pretty good," Bochy said. "Even his outs are hard hit. He does get a little pull happy, so using the field is good for his approach."

Castillo made his fifth appearance in the No. 2 spot. He's usually been used anywhere from fifth through eighth.

With a 421-foot power alley in right-center field, Castillo figures it's to his advantage to hit an outside pitch that way.

"It's good for hitting," he said. "I like this park because the outfield is so big. If I can take the inside pitch to left and the outside pitch to right, I'll do it every time."

Castillo doesn't have much experience batting second (5-for-22 in nine career games), but he does have a lot of experience in May, by far his best statistical month. In 103 May games, he's hit 10 home runs, driven in 47 runs and hit at a .332 clip.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.