SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A couple of rookies who might not hit a lot of home runs for the Giants in the regular season delivered Friday's power in their 3-2 Cactus League loss to the Cincinnati Reds.Kyle Jensen, a non-roster invitee, crushed his team-leading fourth homer of the spring in the
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A couple of rookies who might not hit a lot of home runs for the Giants in the regular season delivered Friday's power in their 3-2 Cactus League loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
Kyle Jensen, a non-roster invitee, crushed his team-leading fourth homer of the spring in the second inning off Reds starter Homer Bailey. Steven Duggar launched his second exhibition homer an inning later.
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Jensen, a first baseman, is unlikely to unseat Brandon Belt at that position. But Jensen also played the outfield corners during a 17-game stint with Arizona in 2016, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy hinted that he might try the 29-year-old there.
Bochy praised Jensen's approach at the plate.
"He's not a guy who's just up there hacking," Bochy said. "He has an idea up there."
Duggar maintains a strong chance to open the season as San Francisco's starting center fielder. Based on his 17 home runs in 1,046 Minor League plate appearances, don't expect him to maintain his Cactus League home run pace.
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Like Jensen, Duggar uses brains as well as brawn to generate power. Consider his approach on Friday.
"[Bailey] got me out on the first at-bat with an elevated fastball," Duggar said. "I wasn't necessarily sitting on location, but I had it in the back of my mind that he might elevate again. So I kind of set my sights up a little bit, and I was able to get some good wood on it."
Middle infielders Miguel Gomez, Josh Rutledge and Orlando Calixte, all competing for a utility role, appeared in Friday's game. Gomez went 1-for-2 to lift his batting average to .400 while Rutledge and Calixte went 0-for-2 and 0-for-1, respectively.
Pence expected to start
Bochy said that left fielder Hunter Pence (flu) is expected to rejoin the lineup in one of San Francisco's split-squad exhibitions. Pablo Sandoval will start at first base against Texas at home while Belt will travel to Goodyear to face Cleveland.
Saturday will be the Giants' busiest afternoon of the spring so far as they play host to Texas and visit Cleveland for split-squad games, which are both scheduled to start at 12:05 p.m. PT. Johnny Cueto will make his Cactus League debut against the Rangers in Scottsdale, and Tyler Beede will receive his second spring start on the road against Cleveland.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.