Torres getting into swing of things

Torres getting into swing of things

SAN FRANCISCO -- Diligent practice has helped Andres Torres gain more consistency at the plate, particularly as a left-handed batter.

The switch-hitting Torres entered the season with a .284 career average batting right-handed, compared to .198 left-handed. The difference was more pronounced last year, Torres' first with the Giants. He hit .338 as a righty and .210 from the left side.

Sunday, however, Torres not only tied a personal best with three hits but also collected each of them left-handed, the first time in his career he has had that many swinging left-handed in one game. Saturday, Torres broke a scoreless tie with a sharp single up the middle batting left-handed against St. Louis' Adam Wainwright.

Torres attributed his improvement to the tutelage of hitting coach Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens and teammate Pablo Sandoval, a fellow switch-hitter. Torres said that he and Sandoval throw soft-toss batting practice to each other daily, taking one-handed swings, using both hands, from each side of the plate.

"It's a good habit," said Torres, who put a five-game hitting streak on the line Monday against Philadelphia ace Roy Halladay. "Bam Bam told us to stay with our routine all season."

Torres also said that he has benefited from the advice he received during Spring Training from Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who suggested that he stop wiggling his bat excessively while awaiting a pitch.