Hwang opening eyes on a daily basis

March 8th, 2017

PHOENIX -- Third baseman already had established himself as one of the Giants' most intriguing Spring Training performers before Tuesday. Now he bears watching almost daily.

Hwang, the non-roster invitee who hit 53 home runs in the last two seasons with the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization, belted his second Cactus League homer during the fifth inning of San Francisco's 4-2 victory over the Dodgers.

Hwang, who connected off Steve Geltz, hiked his team-high slugging percentage to .750.

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Hwang also denied the Dodgers a pair of first-inning runs with a diving backhand stop of 's sharp grounder. Hwang straightened and threw out Gutierrez to end the inning.

"He had a heck of a game, didn't he?" manager Bruce Bochy said. "You get somebody from Korea, and you can look at video or you can look at reports, but until you see him first-hand, you don't really get to appreciate him. He's a solid player."

Hwang wasn't perfect. In the fourth inning, he made a wide relay throw toward second baseman Joe Panik, who couldn't handle the throw and somehow was charged with the error, which allowed a run to score. But even Hwang's mistakes are fascinating, because they reveal his room for improvement.

"He has good instincts," Bochy said. "He has a good feel for the game. When we go over fundamentals, he gets it right away. He's not a guy we have to spend extra time on. He's a ballplayer."

and non-roster invitee Chris Marrero, contenders for the left-field vacancy or possibly a bench role, homered in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively. Marrero leads the team with three home runs and eight RBIs.

"Mac has really turned it up a notch, and Marrero's had a great spring," Bochy said.

Referring to the looming roster decisions, Bochy said, "It's not going to be easy."

• Backup catcher , a former infielder, played the final four innings at second base and made a slick play to end the game, diving to his left to smother Jose Miguel Fernandez's grounder before throwing to first base for the out.