SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Competition brings out the best in most athletes, which seems to be the case for Mac Williamson this spring.Obscured by offseason acquisitions Andrew McCutchen and Austin Jackson and by prospects such as Chris Shaw, Williamson was widely considered an afterthought in the Giants' outfield as they opened
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Competition brings out the best in most athletes, which seems to be the case for Mac Williamson this spring.
Obscured by offseason acquisitions Andrew McCutchen and Austin Jackson and by prospects such as Chris Shaw, Williamson was widely considered an afterthought in the Giants' outfield as they opened Spring Training camp last month.
Nobody's overlooking Williamson now.
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Williamson, who spent portions of the previous three seasons with the Giants, went 3-for-4 in their 9-8 split-squad victory over the Angels. He highlighted his output with a prodigious home run over the center-field batter's eye at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Williamson lifted his batting average to .424, which is garnished by a cartoonish 1.394 OPS.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged that Williamson might have become "a little stagnant" after his unsuccessful attempts to establish himself with San Francisco. Williamson escaped the doldrums by working diligently on his hitting and lowering his hands, which helped him uncork his considerable physical strength.
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"It's great to see him getting some results," Bochy said.
Melancon gives it another try
Giants closer Mark Melancon is slated to pitch in Sunday's exhibition against San Diego. It'll be Melancon's first appearance since last Wednesday, when he said that his surgically repaired throwing arm didn't quite feel right.
Bochy said Melancon's discomfort was "not uncommon," adding that the bullpen ace will make at least five more exhibition appearances, with the implication being that he'll feel better after that stretch.
Left-hander Andrew Suarez and right-hander Tyler Beede struggled in their respective starting efforts in the split-squad games against the Angels. Both prospects conceivably lost ground in their attempts to secure a spot in the Giants' starting rotation.
Suarez yielded five runs and five hits in four innings in Scottsdale, though he drew praise from Bochy by remaining focused enough to pitch a scoreless fourth inning. Suarez owns a 9.00 ERA.
In Tempe, Beede blanked the Angels for two innings but retired just one batter in the third inning before departing. He surrendered six runs on eight hits as his ERA climbed to 12.27.
Left-hander Ty Blach, a leading candidate for one of the starting rotation's two apparent openings, will face the Padres at Scottsdale Stadium in a 3:05 p.m. PT encounter Sunday (watch live on MLB.TV). San Diego will counter with right-hander Luis Perdomo.
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.