Seeking as much knowledge as possible, Winn consulted shortstop Omar Vizquel, who's well aware that balls hit down Fenway's left-field line could hit a protrusion of the grandstand and kick back to him. Winn also sought counsel from center fielder Dave Roberts, who knows that batted balls striking the wall above a certain level will carom toward him. "It's just a matter of reacting," Winn said.
Winn also took extra fly balls in pregame fielding practice and reacquainted himself with the warning track, which he said is hard and will yield high bounces.
Pointing out that he can't take anything for granted, Winn said that with the Monster looming so close behind him, he might tend to play shallower to take away potential base hits on balls hit in front of him -- as Boston's Manny Ramirez does. Holding opponents to singles on would-be extra-base hits also is a more realistic option.
"You have to play situations differently," Winn said.
With Ray Durham batting .220 (11-for-50) in his previous 14 games, manager Bruce Bochy moved the switch-hitting second baseman into the No. 3 spot in the batting order. Durham had batted exclusively fourth and fifth this season.
"Let's see if we can ignite this offense a little bit," Bochy said.
Although Durham entered Saturday hitting .251 overall, compared to his .288 average as a Giant between 2003-06, he led the team with 37 RBIs. Batting in front of cleanup hitter Barry Bonds frequently has been a boon to previous No. 3 hitters, who tended to receive more inviting pitches.
Batting third isn't unprecedented for Durham. He hit there 26 times last season but had middling success, batting .263 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 99 at-bats.
Hooray, San Jose:
The Giants' Class A San Jose affiliate scored three ninth-inning runs on Friday to defeat Modesto, 4-3, and clinch the first-half title in the California League's North Division. Tyler Von Schell provided the winning hit with a two-out, two-run double.
Right-hander Tyler Walker, who's attempting to overcome Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, made his San Jose debut and struck out two in a scoreless seventh inning.
Who's at first?
Rich Aurilia became the third different first baseman to start in the last three games for the Giants. Aurilia had been sidelined by a neck ailment for four games. Ryan Klesko, who has been bothered by a back pain, was out of the lineup for the second game in a row but was available to pinch hit.
Matt Morris will continue his bid for a spot on the National League All-Star pitching staff in Sunday's Interleague series finale at Boston. Morris (7-3, 2.56 ERA) has tossed back-to-back complete games, the first time a Giants pitcher has done so since Jason Schmidt last May 3 and 9. Morris will oppose Tim Wakefield, who's 1-3 with a 5.68 ERA in five career spots against the Giants. First pitch is set for 11:05 a.m. PT.