Now that Durham has a fellow Hriniak disciple, Carney Lansford, as his batting coach, the Giants second baseman hopes to recapture the magic.
Durham raved about Lansford on Tuesday after going 4-for-4 during an 8-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The performance lifted Durham's spring average to .435 (10-for-23) with two doubles and five RBI.
"Ray is playing great on both sides of the ball," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Durham, coming off a wretched 2007, said Lansford helped him rediscover the best contact point. He had been striking the ball too far out front of his body, robbing him of power.
"It's the difference between a hard-hit ball and a flyball," Durham said.
Hriniak was a longtime hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox (where he tutored Lansford) and the White Sox (where he coached Durham).
Durham said that when he and Lansford talk hitting, it is with the familiar language spoken by Hriniak devotees. "Carney puts things exactly the same way as Walt did," he said.
Led by Durham, the Giants enjoyed a rare show of sustained offense against the Brewers, stringing together eight consecutive base runners in the second inning.
The small-ball rally against Ben Sheets featured a butcher-boy style single (Matt Cain), a bloop single (Dave Roberts), a stolen base (Roberts), an opposite-field single (Fred Lewis), a check-swing
The only power came from cleanup hitter Aaron Rowand, who rocketed a two-run double to right center for a 5-2 lead.
"We're not going to be a team that hits a lot of two-run and three-run homers," Durham said. "We're going to have to manufacture runs. We basically have to play National League baseball."
Daniel Ortmeier drove in his first run of the spring -- he has 33 at-bats -- with an infield single in the fourth.
Pitching coach Dave Righetti said he liked the debut of Barry Zito's new windup Monday. Righetti, echoing the pitcher, said Zito will have a cleaner, more rhythmic delivery now that the left-hander no longer hoists his hands above his head at the start of his windup.
"I thought he looked good," Righetti said.
Zito approached Righetti with the planned change over the weekend and practiced it during drills -- and even in front of a mirror at home. Zito tried it against Kansas City and gave up five earned runs in 3ª innings.
Midway through spring training might seem like an odd time to be tinkering, but Righetti said, "You have to do it now. He's thought about it for a while. He's comfortable with it."
Zito pitches again Saturday against the Seattle Mariners.
The owner of Barry Bonds' potential last home run ball has scheduled a news conference for Thursday in Denver to reveal both his identity and his plans for the souvenir baseball. Bonds hit career homer No. 762 at Coors Field last Sept. 5. It might turn out to be his last career home run, although Bonds' agent has said the left fielder wants to play again. ... Cain joined Kevin Correia as Giants starters to go four innings this spring. The right-hander gave up two runs in the first then finished up with three scoreless innings. ... The Giants optioned four players to their minor league camp: outfielder John Bowker, outfielder Clay Timpner, pitcher Kelvin Pichardo and pitcher Osiris Matos.
-- Daniel Brown, MediaNews staff