Results tagged ‘ John Bowker ’

Aurilia returns to active roster

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants regained a potentially valuable performer for the stretch drive Friday as they recalled infifelder Rich Aurilia from his Minor League injury rehabilitation assignment and optioned first baseman-outfielder John Bowker to Triple-A Fresno.

Short-term, Aurilia can supplement the Giants’ infield depth, since Juan Uribe has been bothered by a hamstring injury. Uribe did not appear in three of San Francisco’s last four games entering Friday.

More importantly, Aurilia’s .210 batting average belies his ability to put together a solid at-bat when it matters most. He remains competent in late-inning pressure situations, when he invariably works the count, shortens his swing, doesn’t panic with two strikes and, more often than not, makes meaningful, productive contact.

Aurilia’s only hits in 17 at-bats during his rehab assignment with Fresno and Class A San Jose were two home runs.

“It was valuable for me in the sense that I got to play and get some repetitive at-bats,” said Aurilia, whose five-game stint was precipitated by an infected right big toe. “I got out of it what I wanted to get out of it.”

Aurilia acknowledged that returning to Class A for the first time since 1993 awakened memories he would have preferred to remain dormant. San Jose’s ballpark lacks a center-field batter’s eye and, many believe, adequate lighting. “It makes you appreciate how spoiled we are up here,” Aurilia said.

Bowker played only twice in his second stint of the season with the Giants, but he went out in memorable fashion by belting a monstrous triple to center in Wednesday’s victory at Houston. Don’t be surprised if Bowker rejoins the Giants in September when rosters are expanded to 40 players.

Manager Bruce Bochy said that Bowker calmly accepted his demotion. “He understood that we have a need right now [for Aurilia] to give us insurance in the infield,” Bochy said.

— Chris Haft

Torres to DL, Bowker returns

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants placed outfielder Andres Torres on the 15-day disabled list with an strained left hamstring Friday and replaced him on the active roster by recalling first baseman-outfielder John Bowker from Triple-A Fresno.

With right fielder Nate Schierholtz and infielder Rich Aurilia already on the disabled list, Torres’ injury further diluted the Giants’ contingent of position players. That, manager Bruce Bochy explained, was why the Giants had hoped to avoid sidelining Torres.

“He’s very valuable on this ballclub,” Bochy said. “It’s a tough loss for us.”

Torres hurt himself as he rounded first base on a fly out to right field in Thursday night’s second inning. He said that this injury wasn’t as serious as the one which affected the same hamstring and forced him to the DL in late April. But Torres plays at one gear — fast — which leaves him susceptible to mishaps. He was running full speed although he had hit a routine fly.

“I have to learn when to go hard and when not to,” Torres said.

Torres’ overall numbers, which include a .247 batting average, two home runs, 13 RBIs and five stolen bases in five tries spanning 53 games, aren’t overwhelming. But he contributed significantly to each of the Giants’ four consecutive victories:

— His two-run triple was the biggest hit in Monday’s three-run second inning that lifted the Giants to a 4-2 decision over Pittsburgh;

— He doubled and scored what proved to be a key run in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s 3-2 win;

— Despite going 0-for-4 Wednesday, he drew a two-out walk that prolonged the 10th inning for Randy Winn’s single, which scored the game’s lone run and concluded San Francisco’s three-game sweep of Pittsburgh;

— After Philadelphia jumped ahead with a first-inning run Thursday, Torres stimulated the Giants with a leadoff bunt single that ignited a two-run uprising in their half of the inning and reclaimed momentum for them.

Bowker’s stay could be extremely brief. Bochy hinted that Bowker could return to Fresno when newly acquired second baseman Freddy Sanchez is activated before Saturday’s game.

— Chris Haft