SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The San Francisco Giants got encouraging performances from two stars returning from injuries.
Buster Posey had his first hit of the spring, a home run, in the Giants’ 2-2, 10-inning tie with Cleveland on Wednesday. The young catcher suffered a devastating leg injury in a home-plate collision with the Marlins’ Scott Cousins on May 25.
Closer Brian Wilson, shut down for the final six weeks of the season with a sore elbow, pitched a hitless, scoreless fifth inning in his second outing of the spring.
Posey, who broke his left fibula and tore ankle ligaments, served as the DH on Wednesday. He hit an opposite-field solo home run just inside the right-field foul pole off left-hander Tony Sipp with two outs in the sixth to tie the game.
Posey said he thought the ball was going out of the park when he made contact.
“I thought I hit it pretty good,” he said. “I just wanted to hit the ball hard. That’s my goal every time — to hit the ball hard.”
The NL Rookie of the Year in 2010 is taking a steady approach to his comeback, catching every three or four days and getting at-bats when he can as the DH. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Posey could see more at-bats in minor-league games.
Posey caught four innings against the Cubs on Tuesday, will catch again Friday or Saturday and will increase his time to six innings next week, according to Bochy. Posey has not had any issues defensively and appears to have picked up where he left off in handling the pitching staff.
“It’s about getting the at-bats, seeing the pitches and getting the timing. I am seeing the ball well,” said Posey, who wears an ankle guard.
“I think I’ve been lucky with no setbacks. We have a good game plan the rest of the way through, and I expect to be ready April 6 (for the season opener).”
Wilson has given up one hit in two innings.
“The motion feels good, another pain-free outing,” the right-hander said.
He did not have surgery but rehabbed the injury.
“It was basically do nothing for six weeks and wait for it to heal,” he said. “After that, I didn’t have much of an offseason, rehabbing three days a week. It was worth it. ... I am working toward Opening Day, max it out (velocity) and keep it that way the rest of the season.”
Wilson’s training regimen includes keeping his heart rate up as much as working the arm.
“When you come into the game in this (closing) situation, your heart rate is 140 to 170,” he said. “I try not to keep my heart rate below 160 (in workouts). Keep it steady.”
The Indians had to be encouraged by the strong four-inning effort from veteran right-hander Derek Lowe.
Acquired in a trade with Atlanta on Oct. 31, the 38-year-old gave up a run on two hits with a walk.
“I had a lot better command, a lot of quick outs, the majority on the ground,” said Lowe, who threw 42 pitches.
Notes: Bochy said he was pleased with the pregame bullpen session of right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, who has yet to throw in a game because of a back strain. Vogelsong, who was 13-7 in 28 starts last season, threw a simulated game situation, taking breaks in between “innings.” . . . Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera had three hits, including a pair of doubles.
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