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04/07/10 7:36 PM ET

Mays to receive MLB Beacon Award

Giants legend to be honored at Civil Rights Game weekend

HOUSTON -- Giants legend Willie Mays will receive one of three MLB Beacon Awards during the 2010 Gillette Civil Rights Game weekend, which features a series of events honoring those who fought on and off the field for equal rights for all Americans.

The Gillette Civil Rights Game will be played between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, May 15, at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park and will be telecast live on MLB Network.

Mays will receive the Beacon of Life Award, while former tennis star Billie Jean King and singer Harry Belafonte will be honored with the Beacon of Change and Beacon of Hope Awards, respectively. They'll be celebrated at the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon at the Duke Energy Convention Center preceding the game.

The MLB Beacon of Life Award recognizes an individual who embodies the soul of the civil rights movement through his life's pursuits. A Major League Baseball news release cited the "joy, confidence and humility" Mays displayed throughout his career in naming him as the award's recipient.

Giants like what they see of Joaquin

HOUSTON -- Waldis Joaquin is the Giants' youngest player, and he entered this season having pitched fewer games than any of the team's relievers. But the Giants don't intend to bring him along slowly.

Manager Bruce Bochy said that he'd "throw Joaquin in the mix" of relievers he'd use in critical seventh- or even eighth-inning situations, along with Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo and Dan Runzler.

"Once he settles down, I think he's a guy who'll help out," Bochy said.

Joaquin was simultaneously effective and erratic Tuesday night as the first man out of the bullpen after Barry Zito blanked the Houston Astros for six innings. Joaquin retired the first two batters he faced and yielded an infield single before hitting Tommy Manzella with a pitch. That brought the potential tying run to the plate and ended Joaquin's outing.

But Bochy has liked what he has seen of Joaquin, citing the right-hander's "power arm" and "power sinker."

As Bochy indicated, Joaquin regularly throws his fastball around 95 mph or harder. But Joaquin, 23, is still learning to harness his ability.

"I'm working on locating my fastball and my sinker," said Joaquin, who also employs a slider, changeup and split-finger fastball.

Rowand laments near highlight catch

HOUSTON -- Giants center fielder Aaron Rowand nearly made a catch that would have guaranteed himself a spot on highlight reels not just on Wednesday, but possibly for the rest of the year.

With two on and two outs in the seventh inning and the Giants leading 4-1, Houston pinch-hitter Cory Sullivan drove a Matt Cain pitch to deep center. Rowand attempted to make an over-the-shoulder catch, but the ball went off his glove for a two-run triple.

Sullivan scored the tying run on Michael Bourn's infield single, but the Giants proceeded to win, 10-4.

"I was upset at myself for not catching that," Rowand said. "I was playing him a little shallow on the opposite side, and he pulled one to deep center. I got there and it started fading back toward center field a little bit, so instead of getting it over my shoulder, it started fading to my left and I caught it off the thumb part of my glove. I wish I had it to do over again."

Overall, Rowand had a good day. He entered the game 0-for-10, but singled in his first at-bat and finished 4-for-6 with a run scored and two RBIs.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.