DENVER -- Six games into the season, Giants manager Bruce Bochy finally found a start for the last of his bench players, putting right-handed reserve Brett Pill in the lineup at first base and batting fifth against Rockies southpaw Jamie Moyer.
"He needs a start," Bochy said. "He's the last guy that hasn't had a start, so we'll get him out there. It's a day game."
Pill made his big league debut last September and started 13 of the final 26 games, hitting .300 (15-for-50) with a pair of home runs and nine RBIs.
"I'm used to playing every day in the Minor Leagues," Pill said before Thursday's start. "They explained what my role is when I made the team. Any time I go in there, it's easy to come [inside] and hit in the cage and get ready. Just kind of pay attention to the game and keep your mind thinking instead of just spacing out. It's easy up here [in the Majors], though. You have so much adrenaline. I feel fine coming off the bench."
Pill entered the game 1-for-3 on the season, hitting a pinch-hit homer Saturday off the D-backs' Daniel Hudson. He was hit by Moyer's 79 mph fastball in his first appearance as a starter Thursday and then stroked an RBI single in the third inning. As a right-handed bench bat in a lefty-laden lineup, Pill expects to see the majority of his starts against southpaws.
"It'll be good to get out," Pill said. "So far I've just been waiting around and coming in in games. It's exciting that I'll get more than one at-bat. I'll have a good time."
Wilson notches adventurous first save
DENVER -- He came into a 4-1 game in the ninth inning, and 32 pitches later, Brian Wilson had given his club a scare, giving up three hits to load the bases and walking a run in before securing his first save of the year.
But the real concern came when he threw a 1-0 slider to Tyler Colvin and turned his left ankle, bringing out manager Bruce Bochy and athletic trainer Dave Groeschner to check on Wilson with the game on the line.
"Just a little tweak, no big deal," Wilson said. "They came out to see how it was. It was really nothing. It's one of those things that they have to come check on. It is basically a non-factor."
The at-bat ended with a five-pitch walk to push a run in and leave the bases loaded for Marco Scutaro, whom Wilson popped up to right to end the game.
"He's fine," Bochy said. "He turned his ankle that one pitch. But he said he was fine. He was facing his last hitter. If he walks him, he was coming out, even though the game was still on the line. He had gone far enough."
Said Wilson, "I feel more locked in when bases are loaded. I've seen bases loaded a lot. It's not like I want to pitch in that situation, but when it comes down to it, when I do, I feel that I've been more successful than not."
Wilson made his first appearance in Wednesday's 17-8 blowout loss, entering the game with the Giants behind by eight. Thursday marked his first save situation of the season.
"Once I entered [Wednesday's] game, I knew for a fact I'd be throwing today -- that just the way baseball works," Wilson said. "The pitch count got up yesterday, got up a little high. It was nothing out of the norm. It was nice to get that first pressure situation out of the way [in Thursday's save]. Not that any game has any more pressure than another, but it's nice to get the first one under your belt."
After throwing 24 pitches Wednesday and 32 Thursday, Bochy said he'd most likely rest Wilson on Friday, but he wasn't surprised by Wilson's pressure-packed approach to closing out the game.
"That's just Willy's way," Bochy said. "Good stuff."
Posey feeling better, back in Giants' lineup
DENVER -- After spending much of his spring testing various aspects of his game as he returned from a season-ending leg injury incurred last May, catcher Buster Posey finds himself facing yet another test with his return to the lineup for Thursday's series finale with the Rockies.
Posey sat out Wednesday's middle game as he recovered from a case of shingles, first diagnosed Sunday. The dormant virus, which originates when a person has chicken pox and can resurface years later, can take weeks to resolve itself, but if caught early, the worst symptoms can be staved off.
"I feel pretty good today," Posey said. "We caught it quick. I started the anti-virals right when I saw it pop up."
Posey took batting practice Wednesday and didn't feel like the virus, which in his case was located on his left side, was affecting his swing. Manager Bruce Bochy said he would have the head athletic trainer keep in touch with Posey as the game progressed to ensure he still feels good behind the pate.
"I'll have Dave Groeschner do that for me," Bochey said. "[Posey] feels like it's getting better and he's coming around with this virus. He's good to go."
Giants sit Burriss, Huff against Moyer
DENVER -- The last time Jamie Moyer faced the Giants -- in a Spring Training game in March -- he threw four perfect innings, stymieing the San Franciscan bats.
"Hopefully they learned from it, because he had his way with us," manager Bruce Bochy said of the possibility that Moyer's outing stuck in the heads of the Giants' hitters. "He pitched great. He was hitting his spots. You hope hitters learn from that and the mistakes they made against him.
"A pitcher like Jamie who knows what he's doing, very smart, he can get the hitters to expand the zone. You need to maintain your discipline, and there's a tendency when you face a guy that doesn't throw real hard to get a little big with your swing. Then you're playing right into his game, and he gets you to hit the ground ball and hit his pitch."
With Moyer on the mound for the series finale with the Rockies, Bochy shuffled his lineup a bit. Despite stating that he'll generally go with the hot hand at second base, Bochy sat Emmanuel Burriss, who was 3-for-4 Wednesday, and started right-handed veteran Ryan Theriot against the southpaw starter.
"Manny had three hits, but they have a lefty going today," Bochy said. "Theriot has had success off the lefties. Especially with an experienced guy like [Moyer], a younger player sometimes gets a little too aggressive off him. We'll let them both play early, get matchups, and whoever deserves it will get the bulk of the playing time."
Another curious omission was Aubrey Huff, who hits Moyer at a .391 clip with three homers in 23 career at-bats.
"I thought Huff Daddy would be in my office saying, 'How am I not playing?'" Bochy said "He's had success against Moyer. I don't think he knew he had success against him. In the spring he had some tough at-bats."
After the spring game against Moyer, who throws a fastball in the upper 70s, a frustrated Huff said, "I'd rather not see guys like that. It screws up my week."
With right-hander Brett Pill getting his first start of the season at first, and Nate Schierholtz swinging a hot bat with two homers Wednesday, Bochy gave Huff a reprieve.
"He's got some numbers off this guy, but Nate had a good game yesterday, so I'm going to let Nate go out there," Bochy said.
Bochy faced Moyer at the tail end of his career and sees much the same pitcher on the mound when the 49-year-old faces the Giants.
"He was tough," Bochy said. "I was at the back end of my playing days. He had remarkable control on the outside part of the plate. Good movement, good sink on the ball. I think I got one hit."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.