PHOENIX (AP) - Travis Ishikawa doesn't want San Francisco Giants
fans to get too excited about his power production this spring.
"I'm not trying to hit home runs," he said. "I know that's something Giants fans have been waiting for since Barry (Bonds) left, but I'm not that kind of hitter. ... If we're relying on me to hit home runs, we're in trouble."
Ishikawa's two homers and a rare triple play by the Giants helped them beat the Oakland Athletics 8-4 in a split-squad game Saturday.
The first baseman hit a solo homer in the fourth inning, San Francisco's only run against Trevor Cahill. In the sixth, his three-run shot to center against Michael Wuertz gave the Giants a 4-3 lead.
Ishikawa is batting .313 this spring, and his five homers lead the team. He has heard for years that he needs to hit for more power because he plays a corner infield spot, and he acknowledged that pressure caused him to mess with his swing for a few years in the minors.
Only last season, when he stopped thinking about homers, did the ball start to leave the park. Ishikawa hit 24 homers combined between Double-A and Triple-A, then three more in the majors.
"I'm just trying to hit the ball hard, and if the power comes, great," he said.
Promising catcher Buster Posey, the Giants' top hitting prospect, hit his second homer of the spring in the seventh. Posey, who started for the first time this spring, is 8-for-19 (.421). He also made a nice catch of a foul popup and a strong throw to nail Jason Giambi attempting to go to third on a ball that got past him.
"I've been really impressed with him," Ishikawa said. "For his first full season, he's handled himself professionally, gotten his work in. He's going to be a very good player."
The Giants turned a triple play in the eighth when Bobby Crosby grounded to third baseman Ryan Rohlinger. Matt Carson, who was
running at second, went out of the baseline to avoid Rohlinger and
was called out. Rohlinger then threw to second baseman Matt Downs,
who relayed to first baseman Scott McClain to complete the triple
The biggest bright spot for the A's was the work of Cahill. The 21-year-old prospect gave up one run in five innings. This spring he has a 3.94 ERA in five games, including four starts. He remains a long shot to Break camp in the rotation.
"I just wanted to give myself the best chance to make them have a hard decision," Cahill said. "I'm still here, so I'm happy."
Before the game, the A's got some good news on Eric Chavez. The injured third baseman was cleared to hit for the first time since
March 8. Chavez took some swings without a ball and was tested
using pulleys. He said he will hit in the cage Sunday and perhaps
on the field Monday.
Chavez, rehabbing from right shoulder surgery, has 11 at-bats as
a designated hitter this spring, but he has not played the field in
a game. He was shut down following a setback two weeks ago.
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