Blanco gets sore left shoulder examined

September 16, 2012, 7:23 pm
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PHOENIX -- The Giants have stayed relatively healthy at eight positions since the All-Star break.

Left field is more a mishmash than ever, though.

Gregor Blanco was unavailable because of left shoulder soreness that he began to feel in the eighth inning Saturday night. Xavier Nady's hamstring was deemed too balky to risk starting in left field, too. And Melky Cabrera ... you know the story there.

So Justin Christian is in left field against a left-handed pitcher as the Giants shoot for a three-game sweep at Chase Field.

Blanco was examined by Dr. Ken Akizuki but no tests have been ordered as of yet. For now, the diagnosis is inflammation and Blanco was icing his shoulder most of the morning. He tried taking a few dry swings and couldn't progress beyond that. The initial read is that Blanco could be sidelined for just a few days, though.

How did it happen?

"I've been asking myself that since yesterday," Blanco said. "This the first time in my career I have a hurt shoulder. I don't know what happened."

Blanco hasn't been able to reclaim his form from the spring and the first few months of the season, when he had an on-base percentage in the .400s. But he's hitting .280 over his last seven games and has been contributing to rallies while making harder, more consistent contact on this road trip. Blanco has started 19 of 28 games since Aug. 15, when Cabrera was suspended under terms of Major League Baseball's drug testing program.

Christian is in a 1 for 36 slump and has gone hitless in his last 21 at-bats. At least he's an above average defensive presence in left field, which could aid Ryan Vogelsong as he tries to snap out of a rotten six-start run.