SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Hard-throwing Giants right-hander Heath Hembree worked through some trouble to pick up the save Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Afterward, Hembree was asked if he ever pictures himself at AT&T Park, replicating another flamethrower, Brian Wilson

"Absolutely," Hembree said. "The bases loaded, two outs. You want to be in that same situation."

That's the sound of somebody who really was watching Wilson closely all those years. Wilson made a habit of picking up tricky saves, and Hembree did the same Sunday. He was wild when he took the mound in the ninth inning, giving up a single up the middle and a double to left.

But Hembree adjusted, mixing in a biting slider and developing changeup while getting out of the inning with just one run scoring. The Giants won 5-3.

"The first couple of guys probably saw too many fastballs," Hembree said. "It was just, don't speed the game up too much. I found a better rhythm."

It's hard for Hembree not to get fastball-happy. He mostly sat between 93 and 95 mph on the radar gun when he entered the game and said he might have had a bit too much adrenaline. Regardless, Hembree recovered to shut down the Diamondbacks and get the Giants their fourth win of the spring season.

"He had great stuff," manager Bruce Bochy said. "With two guys on base, he showed good poise and made good pitches."


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Hembree remains a long shot to make the roster, but with three of the club's big league relievers off at the World Baseball Classic and two others nursing injuries, he's enjoying the opportunity to pitch in the late innings this spring.

"I just want to pick up the save as bad as I can," Hembree said.

  • Bochy said Pablo Sandoval lost 14 pounds from the start of spring training until Saturday, when he left Scottsdale to join Team Venezuela and participate in the WBC. Sandoval had to hit certain weight benchmarks to keep getting at-bats while he was in camp.

    "He was cutting it close a couple of times," Bochy said, smiling. "But he made it."

    The Giants have given Sandoval and his Venezuelan coaches a conditioning program that the third baseman is to follow during his time away from Scottsdale Stadium.

  • Barry Zito was sharp in the victory, giving up two hits and striking out two in three innings.

    "It felt better than last time out, that's for sure," Zito said. "The focus was better, the timing was better."

    Bochy said Zito looked "outstanding." Asked to compare the Zito of 2013 with the Zito who struggled mightily last spring, Bochy shook his head.

    "It's night and day," he said. "I don't even know where to begin on that."

    Brandon Crawford had three hits and scored twice, and Francisco Peguero had three hits while driving in three runs. Brock Bond singled to raise his spring batting average to .444 and also stole a base.

    Buster Posey was hit in the back in his final at-bat but wasn't hurt.

    For more on the Giants, see Alex Pavlovic's Giants Extra blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/Giants. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/AlexPavlovic.