SCOTTSDALE — Travis Ishikawa didn’t know he was batting cleanup against the Giants until he showed up at Scottsdale Stadium 90 minutes before Sunday’s game. He did, however, know who he was facing. Ishikawa and Jake Peavy will forever be connected.
“I’m just hoping that if I do manage to get a hit he doesn’t meet me halfway between first and second to stop me from a double,” Ishikawa said.
The 2014 postseason star did in fact get to run the bases with Peavy on the field. Ishikawa hit a bases-clearing drive to left-center in the third and slid safely into third. Peavy was not in the way this time, as he was when Ishikawa walked off the Cardinals in the NLCS two years ago. He stood in front of the mound and watched the ball travel before jogging to back up the plate. Ishikawa also hit a double and a two-run homer.
Before the game, Ishikawa told reporters that he met up with Peavy when the Giants played the White Sox at Camelback Ranch earlier this month. Naturally, the walk-off homer came up.
“He still feels bad about it,” Ishikawa said. “I keep telling him that it makes that moment that much more special. We’re tied together.”
Ishikawa, 32, is trying to find a home in Chicago, where Peavy pitched for five seasons. A native of Washington state, he originally thought he would be a Mariner this season. That deal fell apart in the offseason.
“I’m not really sure (what happened),” Ishikawa said. “A few days after (the deal) I had some conversations with my agent and both parties agreed it wasn’t the right fit and we went our separate ways. I’m really thankful the White Sox stepped up and gave me the opportunity.”
On Sunday the Giants seemed to give Ishikawa a better chance of making Chicago’s Opening Day roster. He drove in five runs as the White Sox won 13-9. Ishikawa has two homers this spring, both against the Giants.
“We’re certainly helping him,” manager Bruce Bochy joked.
HEALTH UPDATE: Buster Posey was a late scratch from the lineup after telling the staff he had some hip tightness. He’s expected to be in the starting lineup on Monday night when the Giants host the Diamondbacks. Posey will catch Chris Heston; Matt Cain will stretch it out in a minor league camp game earlier in the day.
PEAVY’S DAY: The right-hander said he’s more than ready to leave Arizona, and not just because he’s excited about pitching the home opener in a couple of weeks. The mound at Scottsdale Stadium has been an issue all spring, and both of Sunday’s starting pitchers (Peavy and Mat Latos) mentioned it after they came out of the game. The mound is said to be considerably steeper than the bullpen mounds at the stadium, making for a rough adjustment. In recent days several players have also complained that a four- to five-inch hole is opening up early in games, so guys are adjusting their landing spot.
All that said, this spring wasn’t about results for Peavy. It was simply about staying healthy. “I like the way my body and my arm feel,” Peavy said. Mission accomplished.
NOTEWORTHY: Mac Williamson hit a two-run homer, his fifth. There are seven players in the Cactus League with at least five homers and three of them are Giants: Hunter Pence (6), Williamson and Brandon Belt (5) … Brandon Crawford was 3 for 4, raising his spring average to .357 … George Kontos didn’t record an out, giving up five runs on two homers, a triple and two walks … Sergio Romo gave up three earned on four hits and a walk.