2/26/2013 7:58 P.M. ET
Pill pushing for playing time
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Had Brett Pill taken advantage of manager Bruce Bochy's permission to go home in Tuesday's late innings, the Giants probably wouldn't have staged their rollicking rally that generated an 8-8 Cactus League tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Pill slammed his second homer of the afternoon, a two-run clout off Gregory Infante, to forge the deadlock and cap San Francisco's four-run surge in the ninth inning. Brock Bond also belted a two-run homer earlier in the ninth off Kelvin De La Cruz.
All the runs scored with two outs, giving the Giants their second consecutive high-scoring tie. Monday, they played the Chicago White Sox to a 9-9 standoff.
Pill, a legitimate candidate for a reserve role, recorded the Giants' first homer of the Cactus League season in the fourth inning when he connected off Brandon League.
As it turned out, Pill couldn't have left Camelback Ranch even if he wanted to.
"I didn't drive here," he said. Besides, he knows he must capitalize on his allotment of plate appearances to make the Opening Day roster for the second straight year.
"The more at-bats you get in the spring, I think the more locked in you get," Pill said. "I would have taken eight at-bats if they had given them to me."
Primarily a first baseman, Pill likely will receive some activity in left field, which will give him a chance to diversify himself. But he acknowledged that his best position might be with a bat in his hands, especially since the Giants can use some right-handed power.
"I think it's good to have all those [positional] options open. I think ultimately being a threat off the bench with the bat is the No. 1 priority," said Pill, who hit .210 with four home runs in 48 games last year. "A lot of times off the bench last year, I tried to do too much and didn't end up helping."
Bochy appreciates Matheny's support on catcher rule
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy was gratified to hear that his St. Louis counterpart, Mike Matheny, has thrown his support behind banning home-plate collisions.
Since Scott Cousins plowed into Buster Posey, who wasn't blocking the plate, on May 25, 2011, Bochy has increased the volume of his pleas to protect catchers from such plays.
Matheny didn't agree with Bochy initially. Now his views have changed.
"I do believe that this game will get to the point where there will no longer be a collision at the plate. And I am 100 percent in support of that," Matheny told reporters Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Bochy, who has discussed the issue extensively with MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre, welcomed Matheny to his side.
"He certainly has a thorough understanding of what I'm talking about," Bochy said of Matheny, who like himself is a former Major League catcher. "I hope some other guys step up. That's what it's going to take to get [the rule] changed."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.