03/17/2013 10:45 PM ET
Gillespie impresses with walk-off home run
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After belting a three-run, homer on Sunday to lift the Giants to a 9-7 Cactus League victory over the Rockies, Cole Gillespie was asked if he remembered his last walk-off blast. Gillespie recalled one he hit on July 4, 2008, while playing for Double-A Huntsville in the Diamondbacks' system.
Fourth of July? St. Patrick's Day?
"I've got a good thing going with holidays," Gillespie joked.
A reporter playfully asked Gillespie whether April Fool's Day is a holiday. That, of course, happens to be the date of the Giants' regular-season opener at Los Angeles. Competing for a spot as a reserve outfielder, Gillespie would like nothing more than to be with the Giants for that occasion.
"Hey, if I have an opportunity on April Fool's Day, I'm doing something right," Gillespie said.
Gillespie, a non-roster invitee, improved his chances of sticking with the Giants by roping Danny Rosenbaum's 3-2 pitch over the left-center field barrier to conclude a four-run ninth-inning rally.
Gillespie's batting .306. His most direct rival, rookie Francisco Peguero, is hitting .385. But Gillespie possesses more Major League experience than Peguero, having spent parts of the 2010 and '11 seasons with Arizona.
"Every opportunity, every at-bat counts," Gillespie said. "It's been a long spring, but I still have a couple of weeks left to do some stuff. Every time I get in there, I don't want to take anything for granted. I want to make something happen, and hopefully make those coaches think a little more."
Lincecum settles in after rough start vs. Rox
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Asked about his collaboration on Sunday with catcher Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum replied, "There were no issues between us, at all, once again."
That was a joking reference to the alleged feud between the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner and the NL's reigning Most Valuable Player.
Obviously, Lincecum was at ease. He had every reason to feel content after facing the Colorado Rockies, whom he limited to two runs and three hits in four innings, as the Giants rallied in the ninth for a 9-7 win in a Cactus League clash at Scottsdale Stadium.
Both runs that Lincecum surrendered were in the first inning. He settled down to retire eight of the last nine hitters he faced.
"The first couple of innings were a little rough," Lincecum said. "I didn't really have rhythm. As I threw more pitches, I kind of gained that rhythm over the last couple of innings. Things started coming out of my hand a little bit better and where I wanted."
Manager Bruce Bochy liked what he saw from the two-time Cy Young Award winner, who's bent on reversing last year's 10-15 finish.
"He's aggressive," Bochy said. "He's going after the hitters well and I like where he's at right now."
Lincecum threw 68 pitches, including 37 strikes, and expects to be ready for his first regular-season start on April 3 at Los Angeles.
"I see the progression toward getting there," Lincecum said. "My arm strength is going up."
Sandoval dealing with discomfort in right elbow
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Third baseman Pablo Sandoval experienced discomfort in his right elbow on Sunday, an ailment that will remain mysterious until he receives additional treatment and undergoes more tests on Monday.
Sandoval was scratched from Sunday's lineup against the Colorado Rockies when he felt numbness in his fingers while playing catch. He said that he initially felt pain during Saturday's Cactus League game against Cincinnati, when he whipped a throw to second base. The switch-hitting Sandoval, who experienced similar discomfort a couple of years ago, said that he also feels soreness when he swings right-handed.
Asked to evaluate his condition, Sandoval said, "I don't know. I don't think it's anything serious." He added that his elbow felt worse on Sunday than it did on Saturday.
Manager Bruce Bochy remained calm. "We think he'll be fine. He's had this before. It's always a concern anytime there's an issue with the arm. Right now we feel it won't be too long [before Sandoval resumes playing]."
Sandoval has been impressive at the plate this spring, batting .435 (10-for-23) with one home run and four RBIs.
• Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit cleared waivers and was outrighted off the Giants' 40-man roster to the Triple-A Fresno roster, the club announced on Sunday night. Petit has the option to decline his assignment and become a free agent. The Giants expect to receive Petit's decision on Monday.
• Back from his World Baseball Classic stint with Team USA, Ryan Vogelsong will rejoin the Giants rotation on Wednesday, when he's scheduled to start a split-squad game against Milwaukee. Manager Bruce Bochy said that left-hander Jeremy Affeldt, who also played for the U.S. squad, will be ready to pitch on Tuesday, following Monday's scheduled off-day.
• Left-hander Jose Mijares (elbow) played catch at a 90-foot distance. The injury has limited him to two Cactus League appearances.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.