Tomlinson keeps the faith after rough night

Giants' infielder, adjusting to bench role, commits pair of key errors

Tomlinson keeps the faith after rough night

LOS ANGELES -- Kelby Tomlinson has collided head on with the challenge that faces bench players in every sport: Adjusting to playing part-time.

Approached Saturday, one day after he muffed a potential double-play grounder and missed an opportunity to tag out a runner at second base in the Giants' 7-3 loss to the Dodgers, Tomlinson resisted using the rustiness caused by his reserve status as an excuse for his miscues.

"To some degree, it's not what you're used to," Tomlinson said, referring to coming off the bench. "But at the same time, you can still go out there and play well [while] playing once a week."

Any issues experienced by Tomlinson have become more urgent for the Giants, with Ehire Adrianza sidelined for 6-8 weeks with a broken left foot. Though Tomlinson remains a sub, he has become the lone infielder on San Francisco's bench. As such, he'll be the first Giant that manager Bruce Bochy can call upon when second baseman Joe Panik, shortstop Brandon Crawford or third baseman Matt Duffy needs a rest.

"It's frustrating. But there's a lot of season left," Tomlinson said. "I still believe that this team is going to win a lot of games and I'm going to take part in that. You have to keep being faithful, looking forward, knowing that there are going to be better days ahead."

Crawford and Duffy did what they could to buoy Tomlinson's confidence during Friday night's game. Crawford, said Tomlinson, "told me it happens. We've all been there. You just keep your head up and don't let anybody get you down."

Tomlinson said that Duffy advised him to "keep being aggressive, not to be shaken and keep trust in yourself."

Tomlinson performed extra fielding drills on Saturday with bench coach Ron Wotus, but those had already been scheduled.

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.