TEMPE, Ariz. -- Marco Scutaro says you never know how many at-bats you may need in spring training to get ready for the regular season. It might take 20 or 30 or 100.
Or in his case, maybe only one?
Having not played in a game all spring because of nagging back pain, the second baseman finally landed a spot on the Giants' lineup card Monday and promptly landed a double into the left-field corner on the very first hack he took.
"Lucky swing, I guess," said Scutaro, who laid off the first pitch against Los Angeles Angels starter Hector Santiago, then hammered the next as if he'd been playing all along this spring.
"He made it look easy, didn't he?" said manager Bruce Bochy.
San Francisco Giants' Marco Scutaro (19) bats against the Colorado Rockies in the third inning at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday,
San Francisco Giants' Marco Scutaro (19) bats against the Colorado Rockies in the third inning at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) ( Nhat V. Meyer )
Well, he did for the first at-bat, anyway. On his second and final trip to the plate, he struck out, and actually swung and missed at two pitches, a rarity for Scutaro. He swung and missed only 46 times on 825 swings during the 2013 season.
"Obviously, my timing is off, you have to get in a rhythm," he said. "You won't get your timing in one day. You just have to keep building."
That said, Scutaro was in as good a mood as he's been since he reported to camp. He believes he still has enough time to be ready for opening day. The first game left him smiling.
"There was a lot of action," he said. "I got to run the bases, get some ground balls. All around, it was a good day."