SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - The new, lighter Pablo Sandoval, the refurbished Mark DeRosa and the same old Aubrey Huff were in the groove for the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.
The three combined for six of 11 hits and five RBIs as the World Series champion Giants spoiled the spring managerial debut of Don Mattingly with an 8-3 victory over the split-squad Los Angeles Dodgers at Scottsdale Stadium.
The Giants have won their first two Cactus League games.
Back-to-back outbursts in the third and fourth innings proved to be the Dodgers' undoing.
Run-scoring singles by Huff and Sandoval and a two-run triple by Nate Schierholtz highlighted the third inning. A two-run home run by Sandoval, the Giants' first long ball of the spring, was the key in the fourth.
DeRosa, meanwhile, appeared as if he is feeling no effects from surgery halfway through 2010 to repair an injured left wrist for a second time.
With Freddy Sanchez out until at least the middle of next week as he comes back from the surgery he had on his left shoulder in December, DeRosa figures to see a lot of time at second base. But if he keeps hitting at this rate, it will be difficult for manager Bruce Bochy to keep him out of the lineup even when Sanchez returns. DeRosa also can play the other infield positions and left field.
``I am excited for him and he is excited. It has been a long time, a long road for him,' Bochy said. ``I don't care if it's spring or not. He is getting good swings.'
DeRosa clearly was bothered last spring while trying to come back from his first surgery. He didn't seem to be getting full swings. That has changed this time around.
Sandoval has changed, too. The third baseman dropped 38 pounds - down to 240 - and looks more like a baseball player than the cartoonish Kung Fu Panda, as he was affectionately called last season.
After hitting his single in the third, Sandoval scored all the way from first base on Schierholtz's triple. He said he noticed the difference in his speed right away.
``I was faster. Last year, I would have been tired,' he said.
In the fourth, hitting left-handed against right-hander Oscar Villarreal, Sandoval hit the first pitch over the right-field fence.
``Nice,' Sandoval said with a smile. ``When that happens, you get excited about what you do in the cage and all the work you do in the offseason.'
He added that he is continuing to try going deeper into the count, being more patient.
Huff, who as the primary first baseman hit .290 with 26 home runs and 86 RBIs in his first season with the Giants, hit a low line drive to right that was speared by Gabe Kapler in the first inning and drove in a run in the third with a line-drive single off the fence in right.
``I'm not going to try to stretch it into a double right now,' said Huff, not the fastest guy to begin with.
He, too, has been nursing a sore left wrist and has it wrapped.
``The wrist is a little stiff, but once you get the blood flowing, it's OK,' he said.
Notes: Closer Brian Wilson (stiff back) is close to full strength after throwing to Sanchez, Travis Ishikawa and Schierholtz in a bullpen session. Bochy said Wilson would get in a game soon, possibly as early as Sunday against Arizona. ... LHP Jonathan Sanchez started against the Dodgers and gave up four hits in 1 2-3 innings. ``He looked fine. I like where he's at,' Bochy said. ``Coming into camp, he has been a lot more consistent. He has a better downward angle on the ball.' ... RHP Tim Redding, 33, making a bid for the Dodgers' starting rotation, gave up two hits in two innings. He pitched in the minor leagues for the New York Yankees and Colorado in 2010. ... INF Juan Uribe, who left the Giants in the offseason to sign with the Dodgers as a free agent, did not play against his former team nor in Saturday's other split-squad game against the Los Angeles Angels. He is expected to play against the Angels on Sunday.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved