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Notes: Molina ready for grind

Notes: Molina ready for grind

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bengie Molina is on pace to catch 142 games this season. Although Molina's unlikely to maintain this grueling rate, he has prepared himself physically to handle this kind of workload.

"A lot of times when I was with the Angels [1998-2005], I got hurt," Molina said Monday. "But it was because I was working too hard. I'd rather do that than not do anything."

Molina, who has started 21 of the Giants' first 24 games, does plenty. His offseason regimen involves a three-part workout five days a week. He begins each session with morning weight lifting, then does agility drills with a personal trainer in the afternoon. In the evening, he'll add cardiovascular work.

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During the season, Molina lifts weights every other day, alternating each workout between upper- and lower-body exercises. Sometimes he'll even lift after a game if he feels compelled to get more out of himself. But, at 32, he has learned to listen to his body.

"You have to be smart about it," Molina said. "I don't think you should be pushing your knees after a nine-inning game."

Molina began his routine shortly after the 2000 season, when he played a career-high 130 games. Since then, he has played in at least 117 games in four of six seasons, reflecting his durability. The cliche about taking each day one at a time is a tired one, but for Molina, this approach helps sharpen his focus.

"If you think ahead, you're done," Molina said. "If you don't, you have a chance to keep going."

Manager Bruce Bochy appreciates Molina's diligence, which includes studying film, poring over scouting reports and discussing the opposing lineup with that day's starting pitcher.

"Other guys do that," Bochy said, "but not to the extent that Bengie does."

Winn-win: Right fielder Randy Winn revived himself on the Giants' trip to Los Angeles and Arizona, batting .417 (10-for-24) to lift his average from .192 to .263 entering Monday.

Consistent with his soft-spoken nature, Winn said that the source of his turnaround was "nothing magical," though he benefited from repeated rounds of extra batting practice.

"I'm seeing the ball better and consistently taking better swings," Winn said. "I feel better than I did a couple of weeks ago. But I don't really feel like I'm doing anything radically different."

Injury report: Winn batted leadoff in place of center fielder Dave Roberts, who rested a sore left elbow. Roberts insisted that he would rejoin the lineup Tuesday.

On the Triple-A level, right-hander Brian Wilson (triceps strain) and left-hander Erick Threets (shoulder tendinitis) were placed on Triple-A Fresno's disabled list with injuries to their throwing arms. Director of player personnel Bobby Evans said that neither injury was serious and that both relievers already had resumed throwing off practice mounds.

To replace Wilson and Threets, the Giants activated Major League veterans Sun-Woo Kim and Ricardo Rincon. Evans said that Kim, who nearly made the team out of Spring Training, inquired about hooking on with teams in Japan and Korea while tending to his wife, who recently delivered their second child. Rincon, who starred for the A's before undergoing shoulder and elbow surgery last May, had been in extended Spring Training since signing with the Giants earlier this month.

Tim Terrific: For the second time in three weeks, right-hander Tim Lincecum received Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week honors, one day after striking out 14 in six shutout innings for Fresno against Colorado Springs.

Evans reiterated the organization's insistence that Lincecum, 4-0 with an 0.29 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 31 innings, won't be brought to the Majors as a reliever, despite the wishes of fans.

"It's a strain on a kid to bring him up in a different role," Evans said. "[Starting] is a role he's comfortable in. There's no reason right now to make adjustments."

Coming up: The Giants and Rockies continue their series Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. PT. Russ Ortiz (2-1) will oppose Taylor Buchholz (1-1), who recorded a 15.00 ERA in two appearances against San Francisco while pitching for Houston last season.

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

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