SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A day in the designated hitter slot may have been all Buster Posey needed to get his swing going. In his third at-bat of Wednesday’s 2-2 tie against the Cleveland Indians, he drove a 1-1 fastball to right field that easily cleared the fence for a home run — his first hit of spring training.
Posey downplayed the importance of the home run, but admitted everyone likes to get on the board.
“I think it’s about getting ready and preparation and getting at-bats and seeing pitches and trying to work on timing as much of anything,” Posey said. “I’m just glad I hit it hard. I think that’s the goal every time coming up to bat is to just hit the ball hard.”
Posey had a chance to swing the bat only twice per game in each of his three previous starts until hitting out of the DH spot in Scottsdale against the Cleveland Indians, when, in his third at-bat, he drove Tony Sipp’s pitch the opposite way.
The 2010 Rookie of the Year lit things up in batting practice, smashing balls to the left-field lawn area, drawing cheers from early-bird fans who got a preview of what Posey would do in the game hours later. Posey was 1-for-4 and struck out in his last at-bat.
Starting pitcher Matt Cain was glad to see his backstop have some success, but wasn’t surprised.
“We’re not worried about Buster hitting. I mean, he’s gonna hit. That’s what Buster’s done since he got here,” Cain said. “Obviously, it’s good for him to get that going and everything, but none of us are worried if he doesn’t get a hit for a couple days.”
Cain was on a pitch count and was taken out after 3²⁄³ innings and 71 pitches, surrendering two runs and striking out four.
The bullpen also flexed its muscles in the stalemate. Brian Wilson and Javier Lopez threw back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth, respectively.
Wilson made just his second outing after battling an injury to his throwing arm that he rehabbed throughout the offseason and the start of spring training. Wilson said the motion felt good and it was another pain-free outing.
“I think I should stay [in the] low 90s for right now, if I can. And just progressively work towards Opening Day to max out and try to sustain that for the rest of the season,” said Wilson, who is known for his intense work regimen.
“But if it’s going to come out fast, then it’s going to come out fast. I’m not going to try to slow down anything.”
Wilson is slated to make his next appearance on Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day.
Note: The Giants play a night game today in Peoria against the Seattle Mariners at 7:05. Barry Zito will take the mound against the Mariners’ Erasmo Ramirez (1-0).