Regimen pays off as Torres tallies first hits

Regimen pays off as Torres tallies first hits

LOS ANGELES -- With the fuss of Opening Day in the past, Andres Torres resumed doing one of the things he does best on Friday.

He worked.

About five hours before the Giants began their Friday night rematch against the Dodgers, Torres and Pablo Sandoval kept each other company as they sprinted, performed stretching exercises, did agility drills and played long-toss catch.

"We do this about three times a week," Torres said. "It keeps us loose."

Journey to Opening Day
• Pedro Alvarez, PIT, 3B
Part I | Part II | Part III
• Lance Berkman, STL, OF
Part I | Part II | Part III
• Carl Crawford, BOS, OF
  Adrian Gonzalez, BOS, 1B

Part I | Part II | Part III
• Freddie Freeman, ATL, 1B
Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV
• Mitch Moreland, TEX, 1B
Part I | Part II | Part III
• Hunter Pence, HOU, OF
Part I | Part II | Part III
• Andres Torres, SF, OF
Part I | Part II | Part III

A track star in high school, Torres is accustomed to such a regimen. It paid off for him Friday night.

Torres went 2-for-5, collecting his first hits of the season, as the Giants fell to the Dodgers, 4-3. He bunted for a single on the game's second pitch and singled to left field two innings later.

San Francisco's leadoff batter, Torres nearly collected two more hits. But he steered his fifth-inning bunt directly to Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley, who threw him out by a step. Torres also smashed a promising-looking line drive toward the right-center-field gap in the ninth, but it held up for Andre Ethier to catch.

The Giants' loss didn't diminish Torres' zeal. He appreciates every moment he spends on the field, particularly after experiencing what could have been an untimely finish to his 2010 season.

Torres was sidelined on Sept. 12 when he was forced to undergo an appendectomy. He had felt uncomfortable for the previous two to three days, though he had no inkling of the extent of his ailment.

He was told that he'd be fortunate to return in three weeks. Torres returned after 12 days to assist the Giants' drive to the National League West title -- and, ultimately, a World Series triumph.

"I played with pain. But I wanted to be out there," said Torres, who hit progressively better as the postseason lengthened. He batted .115 with no extra-base hits and 12 strikeouts in his first seven games, then recorded a .406 average with four doubles and a homer in the next eight games.

Torres sympathized with St. Louis outfielder Matt Holliday, who underwent an appendectomy that has interrupted his season for an indefinite period. He advised Holliday to be patient.

"I kind of rushed it," Torres said. "But he'll be all right."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.