08/11/12 9:15 PM ET
Burns Scholars recognized by Giants
By Jay Lee / MLB.com
During a pregame reception, Giants rookie reliever George Kontos spoke about the importance of education, and the Giants Community Fund also presented gifts to Bay Area education non-profit groups. The Giants also recognized the graduating and incoming scholars with a pregame ceremony at home plate before Saturday's game against the Rockies.
Every year, 10 eighth-grade participants of the Junior Giants program are selected as Harmon and Sue Burns Scholars for their leadership skills, character, academics and program involvement. They are each awarded $2,500 scholarships in honor of the late Giants owners.
Giants' bats snap out of funk at AT&T Park
SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Bruce Bochy cautioned before Saturday's game against taking too much from the Giants' scoreless effort on Friday. He described the team's stretch of poor offensive production at home as more of an anomaly than an emerging pattern.
The Giants' lineup backed up its skipper's assessment with a 13-hit effort in a 9-3 win against the Rockies, exhibiting both power and timely hitting in a long-awaited offensive outburst at AT&T Park.
Before the game, the Giants' offensive production at home had come to a screeching halt, with the team scoring a total of two runs in its last 27 innings at home. San Francisco had batted a combined .114 in its last three home games prior to Saturday.
"I see guys pressing a little bit at home," Bochy said before the game. "It's hard to figure out why. I do believe the talk about the last homestand and the lack of scoring can get in their heads a little bit."
Entering the game, the Giants were ranked second to last in baseball with an average of 3.21 runs per game at home, compared to 5.11 runs per game on the road, which was good for second-best in the Majors. Of the Giants' 72 home runs this season coming into Saturday's game, only 17 had come at AT&T Park.
Buster Posey is the only Giants player who has gone deep at home in over a month. Pablo Sandoval's June 29 home run against Cincinnati was the last home run at AT&T Park that came from a Giants player other than Posey.
"You can't go up there and try to hit a home run, you can't do it," Bochy said. "You're going to compound the problem. All you can do is go up there and get some good swings off, and the home runs will come if you do that on a consistent basis. Sure, my hope is that we'll drive the ball a little bit better than we have been here. But again, you have to try to do the little things right."
Posey's two-run shot in the third on Saturday was his fourth at home over that stretch, and gave him a career-high 19 overall on the season.
"I'm comfortable hitting here, I see the ball well," Posey said. "It's a big ballpark. But the gaps are big, too, so you have to take advantage of that."
"That's always nice to have, and we have some guys who can hit home runs -- [even] in this ballpark," Bochy said. "That hasn't happened this year. But you have to be careful, because there's a lot of talk right now [about] our problems swinging the bats at home, in particular the long ball."
Five of the six times the Giants have been shut out have come at AT&T Park, and Bochy stressed before Saturday's game the need for some sort of offensive home-field advantage as the Giants battle for the National League West Division title in the final stretch of the season.
"There are base hits out there," Bochy said. "You have to make sure that we're just staying within our game and not pressing. We've played well here until the recent weeks, and it has got to get better in order for us to get this thing done. We have to quit talking about it and go do it."
Sandoval began his rehab assignment on Friday by playing five innings for Class A San Jose, going hitless in two at-bats. Bochy said before Saturday's game that Sandoval will play seven innings for San Jose on Saturday, with the hope being that Sunday will be his final rehab start.
"We'll see how he's going, but he'll probably play one more game [on Sunday]. If all goes well there, [he'll be] joining us in the next series," Bochy said.
Melky Cabrera (28) and Sandoval (26) celebrated their birthdays on Saturday.
The Giants have gone hitless in their last 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Bochy turned to all right-handed batters against Rockies left-hander Drew Pomeranz on Saturday, with Brett Pill getting the start at first over Brandon Belt and Joaquin Arias starting at shortstop instead of Brandon Crawford.
Jay Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.