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Hicks earning more time at second base

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Hicks has elevated his status from non-roster Spring Training invitee to the Giants' No. 1 second baseman, for now.

"I'm going with the hotter bat," manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday, explaining the emergence of Hicks, who was tabbed to start Tuesday's home opener.

Hicks, 28, had started at second base twice entering Tuesday, sharing the spot with rookie Ehire Adrianza (three starts) and Joaquin Arias (two starts). Though the sample size was small, Hicks clearly outperformed his counterparts offensively, batting .444 (4-for-9) with two doubles and a home run. Arias was hitting .111 (1-for-9) and Adrianza was at .083 (1-for-12).

Bochy also noted that he considered Hicks, Arias and Adrianza to be comparable defenders, though Hicks did commit a second-inning throwing error Tuesday that allowed a run to score.

Responding to a question, Bochy said he had not discussed the situation with Arias, who had been considered the leading second-base alternative while Marco Scutaro works on strengthening his lower back.

"He knows he's going to be in the mix," Bochy said, citing Arias' ability to play shortstop and third base as well as second.

Before this year, Hicks had appeared in 55 Major League games with the Braves and A's while playing seven professional seasons.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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