Giants try out regular lineup, with a wrinkle

Pagan bats ninth behind pitcher to pair with fellow speedster Span

Giants try out regular lineup, with a wrinkle

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- All three starting outfielders, check. The regular infield, check. Buster Posey in the heart of the order, check.

The Giants had what could be their Opening Day lineup on the card for Friday night's 15-6 victory over the Padres, with one notable difference from years past -- pitcher Matt Cain was batting eighth, with Angel Pagan in the No. 9 hole.

It couldn't have worked out better, either. The Giants racked up 10 runs the first two times through the lineup to build a huge lead in their second straight game against the National League West foes.

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Manager Bruce Bochy historically hasn't been a proponent of the pitcher in the 8-hole, but he feels more comfortable trying it with Denard Span's speed at the top and Pagan's speed at the bottom of the lineup. Particularly with Pagan being down in the lineup, it gives him some potential for familiarity.

"That's one reason why you do it, to keep them kind of in a role they're used to," Bochy said. "Hitting at the bottom of the lineup in front of the pitcher, it's hard to let a guy take advantage of his speed there. If he's another leadoff hitter, talking about Angel going with Denard, that's where I always said that would make sense, with two speed guys there."

Speed had little to do with it, but the first time the lineup flipped from Pagan to Span was perfectly productive, as Pagan drilled an RBI double and Span followed with a two-run homer. That was just part of the merry-go-round offense the Giants had with their first crack at the lineup configuration.

Span's two-run homer

Bochy said before the game he'll continue to tinker with lineup ideas this spring -- although it could be tough to forget how well this one worked.

"It's kind of a fun thing," Bochy said. "You think about them all the time. We discuss them in the staff room. But this is one I've been wanting to look at."

John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow hium on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.