Mother's Day pink bats serve Giants well
Sandoval leads those using special lumber with homer, single
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' pink bats contributed to a robust offensive performance Sunday.
The five hitters who swung pink bats -- Pablo Sandoval, Gregor Blanco, Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey and Marco Scutaro -- combined to go 6-for-15 with the special sticks in San Francisco's 5-1 victory over Atlanta.
The Giants joined Major League Baseball's 29 other clubs in the Going to Bat Against Cancer program by using and wearing pink-shaded equipment on Mother's Day.
Sandoval led the group with a third-inning "Splash Hit" home run into McCovey Cove. He also rapped an eighth-inning single in a 2-for-4 afternoon.
"I got lucky," Sandoval said. "Because the Mother's Day before, I didn't get hits."
In fact, Sandoval didn't play on Mother's Day in the previous two seasons, due to hamate bone injuries in each hand. He went 0-for-5 on Mother's Day in 2010.
Sandoval also applied artificial pink fingernail polish to his digits. But he wore the cutouts for only one inning.
Though Sandoval said, "It's a special day for all mothers, not just mine," he reserved special mention for his mother, Amelia. "If not for her, I'm not here," he said.
Blanco went 1-for-3 with a run-scoring ground-rule double. His fifth-inning hit might have been an inside-the-park homer had the ball not skipped into the stands.
Blanco said that thinking of his mother, Rosa, motivated him.
"I wanted to honor her every single moment," he said. "My mom is the best thing to happen to me. She brought me life and taught me good manners."
Crawford's mother, Lynn, attended the game. He rewarded her by going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Posey went 1-for-4. The reigning National League Most Valuable Player didn't let his first-inning groundout deter him.
"I think in the past couple of years when I didn't get a hit the first time up, I got rid of it," he said. But Posey said that he decided "I'm going to go with it the whole way this year."
Scutaro put his pink bat aside after grounding out in the first inning. He proceeded to hit a homer and a double with his regular bat.
Casilla thrilled with brother's return to action
SAN FRANCISCO -- Santiago Casilla was all smiles Sunday morning, and not just because his ailing right knee was improving.
Casilla's brother, Jose, earned the decision Saturday night for the Giants' Class A San Jose affiliate in its 5-2 victory over High Desert. Recovered from Tommy John elbow surgery, the younger Casilla, 23, pitched two hitless innings and struck out two.
"He's happy," said Santiago Casilla, who spoke with his brother by telephone after the game. "He said he was throwing 93, 94 [mph]."
Casilla related that his brother expected to sustain that kind of velocity, having worked his way back gradually.
"The only surprise for him was pitching two innings," Casilla said.
As for his own health status, Casilla said that he should be able to resume pitching during the Giants' upcoming series at Toronto starting Tuesday. A cyst in his right knee has sidelined him for four games.
• Bochy plans on talking with Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera during the Giants' upcoming series at Toronto. San Francisco cut ties with Cabrera after he received a 50-game suspension last Aug. 15. Cabrera tested positive for testosterone, a banned performance-enhancing substance.
"What happened, happened," Bochy said. "That's behind us. He's a good person."
Bochy hinted that he would give Cabrera, the Most Valuable Player of last year's All-Star Game, his World Series ring.
"Maybe," Bochy said of a possible presentation.
• Batters are striking out at a record pace, prompting an intriguing take from Bochy. "Striking out is not that bad a thing sometimes," he said. "It is [bad] when you need a productive out. But it makes the pitcher log more pitches."
• Bochy hadn't settled on his final designated-hitter candidates for the Interleague series at Toronto beginning Tuesday. Options include Buster Posey, who filled the role in three games last year; Pablo Sandoval, a DH twice in 2012; and either Andres Torres or Gregor Blanco, depending on which one of them starts in left field.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.