Casilla out with blister issue, but gets vote of confidence

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Casilla out with blister issue, but gets vote of confidence

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Santiago Casilla will sit behind emergency glass in the Giants bullpen Friday night because of a blister issue on his pitching hand, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

But the manager gave Casilla a vote of confidence amid his recent struggles, saying hiccups are to be expected from anyone in the closer role, let alone someone who was thrust into the high-profile job.

"It's going to happen, and he's been really solid," said Bochy, a day after Casilla blew a one-run lead in a 6-5 loss at Washington. "Yesterday, we're out of that inning if (shortstop) Brandon Crawford makes that throw."

Bochy pointed out that Casilla only made a mistake to the leadoff batter, who doubled. He got the ground balls to escape. Bochy did acknowledge that Casilla was shaking off catcher Buster Posey quite often during the inning. Perhaps he wanted to go back to his fastball because his slider and spike curve are harder to throw with a blister.

"He's pitchable, but I'm going to back off him for today," Bochy said. "It could be bothering him more than he's letting on."

Thursday's blown save was more troubling because it was Casilla's third blown save in four chances. Over his last six appearances, he has faced 28 batters and 15 have reached base (11 hits, three walks and an error). Casilla also has allowed two home runs and opponents are batting .458 against him over that span.

"He had a pretty good break before (Thursday)," Bochy said. "I think it's more between pitch selection and location."

In other words ... trust Buster.

Casilla had a 1.32 ERA and had closed out 19 of 20 opportunities before his rough, six-outing stretch. So it would be beyond rash to consider any kind of closer change. Bochy made it clear he's not considering one.

As usual, Bochy plans to use matchups if he has a save opportunity in Casilla's absence. Right-hander Sergio Romo pitched 1 13 innings Thursday but threw only 18 pitches, so he should be fully available if needed.

Dodgers trade former Giants reliever to Rays

Dodgers trade former Giants reliever to Rays

Sergio Romo is headed to the American League.

After being designated for assignment on Thursday, the veteran reliever was traded by the Dodgers along with cash considerations to the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday evening.

The Dodgers will receive cash considerations or a player to be named later.

Romo's first season with the team he grew up rooting for didn't go as planned. In 30 games, Romo posted a 6.12 ERA.

The Brawley-native was drafted by the Giants in 2005 and spent nine seasons pitching for San Francisco.

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Pablo Sandoval singles in first at-bat with San Jose Giants, finishes 1-for-4

Pablo Sandoval singles in first at-bat with San Jose Giants, finishes 1-for-4

BOX SCORE

In his first at-bat with the Giants organization in nearly three years, Pablo Sandoval singled to left field against Rancho Cucamonga.

Serving as the designated hitter, Sandoval batted right-handed against Rancho Cucamonga left-handed pitcher Caleb Ferguson.

Sandoval's single followed singles by prospects Steven Duggar and Bryan Reynolds.

First baseman Aramis Garcia followed with an RBI single, moving Sandoval to second base. But the next batter, Ryan Howard, hit a line drive to Quakes second baseman Drew Jackson, who stepped on second base to double off Sandoval.

In second at-bat, Sandoval flied out to deep left field for the final out of the bottom of the second inning.

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 4th, Sandoval grounded a ball deep into the hole at shortstop. Omar Estevez made the throw across the diamond for the out, but Sandoval picked up an RBI.

In the bottom of the seventh, Sandoval grounded out to third base for the second out of the inning.

Sandoval got one final at-bat in the bottom of the ninth. After Reynolds drove in Duggar to cut the Quakes' lead to 5-4, Sandoval had a chance to play hero, but he worked a walk. He was lifted for a pinch-runner.

He finished the night 1-for-4 with a single, walk and RBI.

San Jose went on to lose 5-4 to Rancho Cucamonga.

Sandoval signed a minor league deal with the Giants on Saturday. He will stay with Single-A San Jose until Triple-A Sacramento returns home from Tacoma.