Lewis' mammoth homer opens eyes
Outfielder pushing for starting job with great spring
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Fred Lewis couldn't believe it himself.The Giants outfielder, who has a flair for the spectacular, performed another remarkable feat in Monday's 6-5 exhibition loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks by clobbering a two-run, sixth-inning homer over Tucson Electric Park's center-field batter's eye. The wall stands 405 feet from home plate and rises an estimated 40 feet. "That's the longest ball I've ever hit in my whole entire career -- in batting practice, everything," Lewis said, his voice soft with incredulity. "When I was between first and second [base] and I saw it clear the wall, I was like, 'Wow.'" Upon connecting with Micah Owings' 3-1 fastball, Lewis didn't fathom that he had homered. "I was thinking 'three' [triple] out of the box," he said. Such impressive displays are nothing new for Lewis. Last year, two of the three home runs he hit were grand slams and the other was part of hitting for the cycle at Colorado on May 13. Lewis has 12 RBIs, tying him with Eugenio Velez for the team lead. A couple of Giants have suggested privately that Lewis, who appeared in 71 games for the Giants during the previous two seasons, should be a regular. But finding playing time for him will tax manager Bruce Bochy's lineup-juggling skills, since Dave Roberts, Aaron Rowand and Randy Winn are entrenched as the starting outfielders, left to right. "It's hard to play better ball than he has this spring," Bochy said of Lewis, who's batting .306.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.