PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Brandon Crawford hopes to change the perception that he's a liability at the plate.
The slick-fielding shortstop helped his cause Wednesday, getting three hits and an RBI in a Giants split squad's 6-4 victory over the San Diego Padres.
Crawford hopes to improve last year, his first full season, when he hit .248 with .304 on-base percentage. This spring Crawford is batting .273, and he's hitting .321 with a .403 OBP in March. He thinks the improvement is a sign of good things to come.
"I'd like to think it is," said Crawford, who went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. "I've hit wherever I've gone in the minors, and I had a good second half last year I'd like to build on. I've really been feeling good and I've been gaining confidence this spring. I've been in the league a little while, and I think I'm ready to take that next step as a hitter."
Crawford's first step forward came in August 2012. He hit .285 over the final two-plus months of the season, and considers this spring a launching pad for further growth.
"My timing has been good, especially over the last few weeks," Crawford said. "We have another week or so to get right before the regular season, and I'll continue to work and fine tune and prepare for what I believe will be a productive season."
Left fielder Carlos Quentin played the outfield for the first time this spring. He's been sidelined with knee discomfort, but came out of the game physically fine. Quentin played three innings in left field. He went 0 for 3 with a walk.
Padres starter Andrew Cashner wasn't as efficient has he had been in two previous spring appearances.
The Padres hoped Cashner would get into the fourth inning with less that 40 pitches, but he didn't make it through the third — he threw 31 pitches in the first.