SAN FRANCISCO -- Reds rookie shortstop Zack Cozart wasted no time Friday in wrecking the Giants' four-game streak of throwing shutouts. Cozart hit Matt Cain's first pitch for the first leadoff home run of his career.
Cozart didn't fashion himself as a future Rickey Henderson that will often provide instant 1-0 leads.
"I knew that the type of pitcher Cain is, he's going to come at you with a fastball early," Cozart said Saturday morning. "At this ballpark, you don't go up there and expect to hit home runs because the park is colder and the wind is kind of blowing in. When I put a swing on it, I still didn't think I had a home run. It was pretty cool, especially after they had four consecutive shutouts, and we got one-hit shut out the day before."
As it turned out, Cozart heeded some advice from a former Giants player that visited manager Dusty Baker in the clubhouse. Baker likes when former hitters talk to his players about their approaches.
"Marvin Bernard was here talking to Cozart yesterday about looking for the fastball," Baker said. "He told Cozart, 'If I'm facing Matt Cain, he's not getting ahead of me, because he has too many weapons to work with.' He threw two first-pitch fastballs and one of them went over the fence. The key is to concentrate to the point of getting a good pitch to hit and not just swinging at the first pitch."
More rest for Rolen not in Baker's plans
SAN FRANCISCO -- Reds third baseman Scott Rolen hasn't looked good often at the plate since returning from a five-week stint on the disabled list.
Manager Dusty Baker gave Rolen his customary break from the lineup Saturday with a day game following a night game. There is no thought right now of reducing Rolen's playing time to keep him and his problematic left shoulder fresher.
"Rarely less is more, especially when you're trying to get your stroke. He'll be back in the lineup [Sunday]," Baker said.
Rolen, 37, entered the day batting .212 (7-for-33) with one home run in 11 games since he returned on June 18. He is a season-worst 0-for-15 with eight strikeouts since Monday.
"We're hoping before he gets down about it -- which I don't feel he is but everybody is capable -- he gets some breaks here," Baker said.
Rolen, who is batting .184 overall, missed 34 games with a strained left shoulder, and Todd Frazier played well as a replacement. Frazier started Saturday against the Giants.
Baker still believes that Rolen will ignite and produce at the plate.
"Look at him and [Ryan] Ludwick both," Baker said. "You have to look at their careers as opposed to what they're doing now. I'm into the big picture. Sometime I'm into the short-term small picture, but short term usually isn't as consistent as long term. Sooner or later, water seeks its own level and they get back to where they're supposed to be or at least pretty close."