Odds & ends: Kung Fu Panda delivers knockout blow

During the offseaon, Pablo Sandoval went to see his eye doctor and learned that he’s near-sided.

Since then, the Giants third baseman has debated between wearing prescription googles, contacts or nothing at all.

Perhaps that’s why he hasn’t look right yet this season. Or maybe he’s just been pressing.

Whatever it was, it seems to be a thing of the past after Sandoval hit the ball hard three times Sunday in a 6-3 win over the Braves.

“This was the starting point,” Sandoval told reporters afterwards. “This is the point to turn it around and help the team.”

Even though Sandoval entered Sunday’s game with a .290 average. He only had one RBI, and that came on a groundout. Many of Sandoval’s hits this season came a bloopers, infield hits or soft liners. Not so on Sunday.

First was a two-out triple to right-center in the fourth that led to the Giants’ first run. Then came a sharp single to left that led to the Giants’ second run. And finally came a mammoth homer to right-center that put the Giants up 5-2 in the eighth.

“Even Pablo will get out of sync occasionally,” manager Bruce Bochy told the San Jose Mercury News. “But even then, he finds a way to get hits.”

Barry speaks

Members of the 2000 San Francisco Giants team showed up at AT&T Park on Sunday, but didn’t get to take part in the planned pre-game ceremonies because of the rain delay.

But we did learn some things about the members of that team.

A member of that team said Sunday he used steroids. And a member of that team says he’s retiring from baseball.

Of course, neither one of those statements was made by Barry Bonds.

What Barry did say is that he is proud of Mark McGwire for his admission of steroid use. Bonds also says he likes offering batting advice to younger players.

Bonds said the he’s had a good friendship with McGwire over the years, “and I’m proud of what he did, and I’m happy for him.”

Bonds also spent a few days last winter offering hitting advice to the Phillies’ Ryan Howard. He said he enjoys coaching and would like to do more of it in the future. However, it seems that coaching would be on a free-lance basis, so don’t expect Barry to replace Hensley Meulens as the Giants hitting coach.

But maybe the Giants could hire Bonds to teach Giants hitters not to swing at 2-0 pitches out of the strike zone.

That is, if they don’t sign Bonds as a free agent. Officially, he has not retired from baseball, even though he hasn’t played since 2007. His lack of retirement could be linked to a potential grievance of collusion against Major League Baseball for keeping out of the game.

One ex-Giant who did announce his retirement was Rich Aurilia. Aurilia, now a Giants broadcaster, said he contact club president Larry Baer to state his intention to retire.

One ex-Giant who admitted to steroid use was Marvin Benard, who said he used the drug to help him recover from a knee injury

More Posey news

Buster Posey went 2 for 5 with three runs scored and his first home run of the season in the Fresno Grizzlies’ 14-2 win over the Reno Aces on Sunday.

Posey is now 9 for 18 for the season.

Also on Sunday, Fred Lewis went 2 for 3 with two walks for Fresno, and Joe Martinez pitched five scoreless innings for the win.

Pirates come to town on Monday

The Pittsburgh Pirates open a three-game series with the Giants on Monday at AT&T Park. Here’s a look at the pitching matchups

  • Ross Ohlendorf (0-0) vs. Barry Zito (1-0), 7:15 p.m. Monday
  • Paul Maholm (0-1) vs. Matt Cain (0-0), 7:15 p.m. Tuesday
  • Charlie Morton (0-1) vs. Jonathan Sanchez (0-0), 12:45 p.m. Wednesday

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