Calixte stars in Giants debut

Calixte stars in Giants debut

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy minced no words about Orlando Calixte, calling him Triple-A Sacramento's "best player" until San Francisco recalled him and inserted him into Tuesday night's lineup against the Nationals.

Once the game began, Calixte did his best to validate Bochy's remark.

Starting in left field and leading off, Calixte notched his first Major League hit, a single off lefty Gio Gonzalez, to christen the Giants' half of the first inning. The 25-year-old added a two-run double in the second to open the Giants' scoring.

Calixte's first MLB hit

Calixte went hitless in his next three at-bats and the Giants took a 6-3 loss, but the rookie made his presence felt.

"I'm super happy just to know I was given the opportunity," Calixte said through interpreter Erwin Higueros.

With Sacramento, Calixte compiled a .287/.331/.507 slash line in 41 games, along with eight home runs, 26 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 12 attempts.

The Giants hope that Calixte can continue to help stimulate the offense. San Francisco entered the game averaging a Major League-low 3.38 runs per game. Having summoned the wiry 5-foot-10, 180-pounder, the Giants optioned outfielder Mac Williamson, who was batting .161 in 10 games, to Sacramento.

"We needed a shot in the arm," Bochy said of Calixte, "and he was their best player down there."

Bochy described Calixte's style as "high energy," which was evident during Spring Training. "He just loves playing," Bochy said. "He has a passion for the game."

A Kansas City castoff who signed with the Giants last offseason, Calixte appeared in two games with the Royals in 2015. He bats right-handed and can play the outfield and every infield spot except first base. As Tuesday's game evolved, Calixte migrated from left field to center and then to right, becoming the first Giant to play all three outfield spots in the same game since Randy Winn on May 10, 2009, at Los Angeles.

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.