04/01/11 2:43 AM ET
Eighth-inning standoff enlivens Torres' opener
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
Though the Giants couldn't capitalize on pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa's leadoff walk in the eighth inning when San Francisco trailed, 1-0, Torres strived, albeit fruitlessly, to help the rally mushroom.He and Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo engaged in the evening's most intense pitcher-hitter confrontation, a 12-pitch standoff that ended when Torres flied out to right. Torres fouled off a pair of 2-2 pitches and took ball three before fouling off four full-count deliveries. "I felt better in that at-bat," said Torres, who struck out against Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw in each of his first two plate appearances. "I saw the ball better." In Torres' third trip to the plate, he hit a ball that briefly appeared destined to be an RBI single. Tim Lincecum was on first base, having forced out Pablo Sandoval with a sacrifice-bunt attempt, and Brandon Belt was on third with two outs in the fifth inning. Torres smacked a one-hopper to the left of shortstop Rafael Furcal. The ball had the trajectory of a base hit but lacked the pace. Furcal speared it and threw to second base to retire Lincecum. "I thought I had it," Torres said, though he proceeded to point out -- literally -- why he didn't. Torres picked up a bat and fingered an area near the label. As anybody who has swung a bat knows, that was a little too far from the precious hitting zone.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.