Williamson, Parker shine as battle for LF job heats up

Williamson, Parker shine as battle for LF job heats up

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- With a few more games resembling Sunday's, the competition for the Giants' starting role in left field featuring Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson could result in a photo finish.

Considered the leading contenders for the spot, Parker and Williamson both displayed their strengths in the Giants' 9-5 win over the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark.

Known for his power potential, Parker played right field and rapped his first homer of the spring, a two-run clout in the fourth inning off Nick Routt. He went 2-for-2 with two walks, and nearly drove in a third run, but his two-out, first-inning single to right field ended with Joe Panik being thrown out at home plate.

"It's nice to get a few at-bats where you can get a rhythm and routine," Parker said.

MLB Tonight: Jarrett Parker

Williamson showcased his all-around skills. He complemented his 2-for-3 performance with a deft running catch of Adam Duvall's line drive to left field to end the second inning. Williamson snared the ball as he began a pop-up slide, which enabled him to avoid a collision with the portion of the Goodyear Ballpark wall that's parallel to the foul line.

"I think it was a routine play, really," Williamson said. "I thought I might be able to get to it standing up, but there's only about a foot of foul ground over there between the line and the wall. As it was coming down, I kind of saw the wall out of the corner of my eye. So I protected myself, just sliding into it instead of running into it."

Offensively, Williamson recovered after an 0-for-2 performance Saturday.

"I thought I saw the ball really well today at the plate," Williamson said. "I was happy I stayed through those [pitches], as opposed to the couple that I rolled over on [Saturday]. I tried to make an adjustment today. It was a step in the right direction, for sure, and I'll try to build off of it."

One of Parker's postgame comments reflected his lack of focus on the battle for the starting job in left.

"Playing a lot, you learn what you can control and what you can't," Parker said. "All I know is I can control my attitude and the way I go about my business. I'm just trying to keep it simple."

Williamson maintains a similar mindset.

"We can't really control what happens as far as the decisions that are made," Williamson said. "We can just push the envelope and make the decision tough on them."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. 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.