Wilson returns, will resume closing Tuesday

Wilson returns, will resume closing Tuesday

Wilson returns, will resume closing Tuesday
DENVER -- Closer Brian Wilson made his first appearance in over a month and pitched a scoreless eighth after being activated following a stay on the disabled list for a month with right elbow inflammation.

Before the Giants' 12-5 win over the Rockies, manager Bruce Bochy said would look for "the right situation" to use Wilson and have him throw in the bullpen if it didn't arise.

Bochy said because of "the unknown factor," he wasn't going to use Wilson in a ninth-inning save situation Sunday but would return him to his closer's role Tuesday at Los Angeles when the Giants open a three-game series.

In the Giants' lopsided victory over the Rockies, Bochy found the ideal low-stress situation to use Wilson, who is 35-for-40 in save opportunities and 6-4 with a 3.15 ERA and had missed 30 games since he last pitched Aug. 15.

Wilson struck out Tommy Field, a rookie playing his sixth Major League game, and pitcher Jason Hammel and got Eric Young Jr. to foul out when left fielder Justin Christian leaped into the stands to make the catch. Wilson threw 16 pitches, including 10 strikes.

"He used all his pitches," Bochy said. "One thing we didn't want him to do was throw nothing but fastballs, pitch a little bit. He almost went the other way, but I thought he did a nice job."

The Giants have nine scheduled games remaining in the regular season. Bochy said it would be good mentally for Wilson to enter the offseason having returned to his closer's role following his long absence from the mound.

"I know he's anxious," Bochy said. "He feels he's ready. You always look at the risk vs. the reward theory there, but he feels like he's ready to go. He'd be disappointed going into Spring Training being on the DL for two months at the end of the year before. I don't think he wants to go through the winter like that."

While the Giants bullpen has done well in Wilson's absence and in particular Santiago Casilla, who went 5-for-5 in save opportunities with Wilson sidelined, Wilson's return allows Bochy to return his relievers to their usual late-inning roles at a crucial time. The Giants, riding a season-high eight-game winning streak, are trying to catch the D-backs in the National League West and the Braves in the Wild Card race and Wilson can help in that quest.

"There's a sense of urgency to get him back," Bochy said.