MIAMI–When the Giants announced the signing of free agent Austin Jackson during the offseason, the club indicated Jackson would have a role as a versatile asset who could earn playing time at all three outfield positions.

For the first time this season, Jackson will play somewhere other than center field.

It took until the 68th game of the year, but Jackson is starting in left field and hitting seventh on Wednesday against Marlins left-hander Caleb Smith.

“He’s been getting some work out there and I want to mix all of these guys in and give them some playing time,” manager Bruce Bochy said.

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Fewer than two weeks after Bochy said Mac Williamson will receive the lion’s share of starts in left field, Williamson will sit for the second straight game. Veteran Hunter Pence played left field in Tuesday’s loss to the Marlins and was one of just three hitters including starter Chris Stratton to record a hit in the Giants’ 3-1 defeat.

Williamson is hitting .246 with three home runs and eight RBIs in 69 at-bats this season, but after missing more than a month of playing time due to a concussion suffered on April 24, the 27-year-old outfielder is just 11-for-50 with four doubles and no home runs since his return.

Bochy indicated Wednesday that Williamson may have lost his grip on the starting job, hinting that he would continue to rotate players until one of his outfielders forces his hand.

“We’ll go with the hot hand or maybe the matchup we like that night,” Bochy said. “That doesn’t change, but I just decided to play Jackson tonight because he was swinging the bat pretty good there in Washington.”

The Giants’ skipper said he plans to start …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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