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"That’s just baseball. We’ve got a long way to go. These stretches make you stronger."
—LF Hunter Pence, trying to explain the Giants’ struggles with the Marlins. Miami has won 10 of its past 11 games at AT&T Park, including Sunday’s 7-2 Marlins victory.
NEXT: Giants (Madison Bumgarner, 7-4, 3.25) at Dodgers (Hyun-Jin Ryu, 6-3, 2.96)
RHP Chad Gaudin could not complete a bullpen session either Saturday or Sunday to the standards expected by manager Bruce Bochy, so his scheduled start Tuesday night in Los Angeles is now a big question mark. Gaudin was hit near the right elbow with a line drive off the bat of Miami’s Derek Dietrich in Thursday’s loss to the Marlins. Gaudin had to be removed from the game. X-rays were negative, and Gaudin was immediately confident he could pitch through any pain in his next start. However, that might not pan out. If Gaudin is unable to go, it’s likely the Giants would summon LHP Mike Kickham from Triple-A Fresno to make the start.
LHP Madison Bumgarner will face the Dodgers for the second time this season Monday night. He can only hope it goes as well as the first time around. Two things will be the same as in his April 2 duel with the Dodgers: It’ll once again be in L.A., and his pitching rival will be Hyun-Jin Ryu. Bumgarner outdueled Ryu in a 3-0 gem in the opening series of the season, continuing a trend. He’s been dominant in his career against the Dodgers, going 6-2 with a 2.53 ERA. His current form is good—he’s won his last three starts while allowing only five earned runs—so the Giants couldn’t ask for a better matchup to start a 10-game road trip.
3B Pablo Sandoval is feeling good physically. Mentally, he’s even better. Sandoval’s sprained right foot passed a two-day test in the minor leagues Friday and Saturday on a rehab assignment. He will be activated off the disabled list Monday and is expected to start in the Giants’ road-trip opener at Los Angeles. The Giants will be getting a hot bat back in the lineup. Albeit it against Single-A pitching, Sandoval went 4-for-6 in his two appearances for the San Jose Giants, belting a home run in each game he played. He also looked smooth in 12 innings at third base.
INF Nick Noonan was optioned to Triple-A Fresno after Sunday’s game to clear a spot on the active roster for 3B Pablo Sandoval, who will return from the disabled list Monday. Noonan went 0-for-2 Sunday, and he hit .212 with no homers and four RBIs in 48 games for San Francisco this season.
CF Gregor Blanco is the two-word answer. The question? Why aren’t the Giants overly concerned about the prospect of Angel Pagan having hamstring surgery. Blanco has performed brilliantly since assuming Pagan’s leadoff spot. Blanco went 2-for-4 Sunday, making him 28-for-75 (.373) this month. He entered the game with the sixth-best batting average in the National League this month (.366). He’s been even better—14-for-28, .500—in his last seven games.
RHP Sergio Romo told manager Bruce Bochy he was ready for duty Sunday after pitching 1 2/3 innings in Saturday’s 2-1, 11-inning victory over the Marlins. Bochy couldn’t have been surprised. After all, Romo has experience with a heavy relief workload. He has recorded five or more outs 20 times in his career. The first time he did it, he didn’t do a very good job of it, giving up three runs against the Reds in 2008. Since then, he’s done scoreless work all 19 times. That explains why Bochy didn’t hesitate to use his closer in parts of three innings Saturday. As it turned out, Romo wasn’t needed in Sunday’s 7-2 loss, meaning he unquestionably will be fresh Monday for the start of a series against the Dodgers.
While losing three of four to the Marlins, the Giants scored just eight runs and went 4-for-32 with runners in scoring position.
They desperately need Pablo Sandoval in the lineup, and that’s what they’ll get Monday at Dodger Stadium.
Sandoval will come off the disabled list after playing two games for Class A San Jose, going 4-for-6 with two homers.
"When he swings the bat, he can definitely be a game-changer," Buster Posey said of Sandoval.
The third baseman has been shelved since June 9 with a foot injury, and the Giants have struggled without him. They’ve lost six of nine. They finished their first losing homestand since July 23-Aug. 2, when the Giants went 3-7.
"It’s going to be good to have him going down to L.A. with us and putting him in the lineup," manager Bruce Bochy said. "This lineup needs a little shot in the arm right now, and his presence certainly will help."
In Sandoval’s absence, the Giants went eight straight games without a homer. The string was snapped in Sunday’s 7-2 loss when Hunter Pence hit a solo homer in the sixth inning.