GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tuesday’s lineup appeared to be an open challenge from Bruce Bochy to all the right-handed hitters in camp trying to win an opening day job. You’re facing Clayton Kershaw. Go make your case.
Kershaw threw three innings against the non-roster-invitee-heavy lineup and … allowed zero hits. So, there is still no correct answer to that quiz, but the spring competition heated up considerably once the world’s best pitcher departed.
Jae-gyun Hwang hit a solo homer in the fifth after earlier saving two runs for Matt Moore with a diving stop down the line. Moore was appreciative, and he said a former teammate who is currently playing in South Korea said he’s grateful that he no longer has to face Hwang.
“He’s opened up some eyes," Bochy said. "You get somebody from Korea, you can look at video or the scouting report, but until you see them firsthand, you don’t get to appreciate the player.”
Mac Williamson hit his second opposite-field homer in two games. Chris Marrero got into the action an inning later, clearing the home bullpen with his third homer of the spring.
“Mac has really turned it up a notch,” Bochy said. “And Marrero, he’s had a great spring. It’s not going to be easy (to make roster decisions).”
Another right-handed hitter made sure he would be front and center in Bochy’s mind on the long ride back to Scottsdale. Trevor Brown made his Giants debut at second base, playing four innings after Joe Panik’s departure. Brown, who was drafted as an infielder, is trying to add some versatility in case the Giants decide to keep three catchers.
His day as a utility man started innocently, with a grounder up the middle in the seventh that was flipped to Christian Arroyo for an inning-ending force. With two outs in the ninth, Jose Miguel Fernandez hit a smash toward right that Brown knocked down with a diving stop. He threw Fernandez out to end the game.
“How ‘bout that play,” Bochy said, smiling. “That’s a heck of a play by Brownie. He’s been getting ground balls there. We’re going to take a look at it. He looks comfortable out there.”
The franchise has never lost a game when Brown gets time at second base.
GAME RECAP: The Giants have won two straight. Break up the Giants. Bochy was pleased with a pitching staff that’s really starting to come around, and on Tuesday it was led by Moore. You can read about him here. Tyler Beede pitched two more shutout innings, keeping his spring ERA at a tidy 0.00.
STOCK RISING: Jose Dominguez, the former Dodger, pounded the bottom of the strike zone in a perfect ninth. In 3 1/3 spring innings, he has given up just one hit.
“I really like the way he’s throwing the ball,” Bochy said. “He’s getting a lot of called strikes. The ball is jumping that well out of his hand right now.”