With Brandon Belt, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval entrenched, the Giants hardly need Brett Pill as a first baseman. He is not a great left fielder and the staff has backed off the notion of trying him at third base.
Pill knows all that, and believes the best way he can compete for a job is to persuade the honchos that he will be a serious right-handed threat off the bench.
The 28-year-old stated his case on both sides of the valley Tuesday. He blistered the ball in batting practice at Scottsdale Stadium, then hit two home runs in an 8-8 tie with the Dodgers, a solo off closer Brandon League, who was pitching in the fourth inning, and a two-run, two-out shot in the ninth off right-handed prospect Gregory Infante that tied the game.
"He's competing for a job. Sure," manager Bruce Bochy said. "I think we're looking for him to drive the ball, which he did today."
Pill's main competition might be outfielder Cole Gillespie, another right-handed hitter. Both will grab any chance to prove their worth. When Bochy gave Pill the option of leaving after the eighth inning of an 8-4 game, Pill declined and stayed in the game. Actually, it was not that tough a choice for Pill: He did not bring his car and had to wait for the bus.
After Brock Bond hit a two-run homer, Pill hit the tying homer.
Said Bochy: "I'm glad I kept him around."
For the win: Think Bochy dislikes losing to the Dodgers? He burned two of the five catchers he brought to Camelback in one ninth-inning strategy sequence to get the matchup he wanted after Dodgers manager Don Mattingly replaced left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz with Infante.
Bochy originally sent right-handed-batting Andrew Susac to hit for Tyler LaTorre. After the pitching change, Bochy had left-handed-hitting Johnny Monell bat for Susac. Monell singled ahead of Pill's tying home run.


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