Giants

Giants activate Sandoval, option Pill

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Giants activate Sandoval, option Pill

SAN FRANCISCO The Giants activated Pablo Sandoval fromthe disabled list prior to the first pitch of Monday nights game against theWashington Nationals, manager Bruce Bochy said.

Sandoval will not start but will be available off the bench.Hes expected to resume his role as the starting third baseman on Tuesday.

The Giants had postponed making Sandovals activationofficial as they weighed a corresponding move. After batting practice, the front office and coaching staff ultimately decided to stay with a 13-man pitching staff and optioned infielder Brett Pill to Triple-A Fresno.

Sandoval came through his test at Single-A San Jose with noissues, and although he acknowledged he hasnt run all-out on his strainedhamstring, he estimated he was at close to 90 percent effort on the basepaths.

Thats good enough, Bochy said.

Thats going to work, Bochy said. And itll get better. Its a huge boost any time you get a guy in the heart of your order. Betweenhis presence and energy, hell help us. Now we have more depth.

Bochy said he would use Marco Scutaro, who had taken overSandovals job as the everyday third baseman after coming over in a trade withthe Rockies, as more of a floating presence to give other infielders rest. Italso allows the Giants to go with the hot hand if second baseman Ryan Theriotscuffles.

Theyre all going to play, Bochy said.

For now, Sandoval will be limited to third base. He only workedat third while on the disabled list (although he didnt get a single groundball in rehab action for Single-A San Jose.) And because he hurt himself July24 as a first baseman while stretching for a throw, the Giants are leery to puthim back at that position anytime soon.

But Bochy said that eventually, he wants to have the optionto put Sandoval at first base.

Until we are certain he is 100 percent, hell concentrateat third base, Bochy said. It doesnt mean he wont play first base. Wellget more into this and hell get comfortable at third, but we would like tokeep that (first base) option open, occasionally.

Sandoval said he is eager to hit in the middle of the lineupfor the first time with Hunter Pence, who was acquired from Philadelphia just afew days after the Panda went on the DL.

Im happy to be back and be a part of this lineup,Sandoval said. Its going to be day-by-day, but I feel better and better.

Sandoval' power will be especially beneficial at home; he owns three of the 19 home runs hit by Giants in 58 games at AT&T Park.

Hundley still not ready to discuss future; Cain to start during final weekend

Hundley still not ready to discuss future; Cain to start during final weekend

PHOENIX — A few weeks ago, Nick Hundley said he preferred not to talk about his future until the end of the season. We’re close enough, so after hitting the go-ahead homer Monday night, Hundley was again asked about his 2018 plans. He smiled.

“How many have we got left? Five?” he said. “Ask me Sunday.”

It’s not just the media and fans seeking an answer from the popular backup who has nine homers. The Giants hope to get some feel from Hundley as they finalize offseason plans, and manager Bruce Bochy said he would talk to the veteran this week. Bochy left no doubt about what he hopes will happen.

“I think he knows what we think of him,” he said. 

Hundley, a 34-year-old who came over in the offseason, has been one of the few overachievers this season. He has 32 extra-base hits in 274 at-bats, taking advantage of increased time with Brandon Belt done for the year and Buster Posey sliding over to first base. Hundley is one of the lineup’s more potent right-handed options, and he has earned praise from the starting staff. Johnny Cueto said Hundley helped him navigate a post-clinch Diamondbacks lineup that was essentially pulled straight out of Triple-A. 

Cueto did so with ease, striking out eight in six innings. He evened his record at 8-8, and he’ll have a chance to clinch a winning season on Sunday. Bochy said Cueto will start the final game of the season, and he confirmed that Matt Cain will start either Friday or Saturday. Asked for more details, the manager kept it just as mysterious as his catcher. 

“I’ll let you know tomorrow,” he said.

Giants lineup: Pence leading off, lefties back in against D'backs

Giants lineup: Pence leading off, lefties back in against D'backs

After batting fourth on Sunday in Los Angeles, Hunter Pence is back in the leadoff spot in the series opener against Arizona.

Additionally, Denard Span, Joe Panik and Jarrett Parker return after sitting against Clayton Kershaw.

San Francisco Giants:
1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Denard Span (L) CF
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
7. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
8. Nick Hundley (R) C
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P

Arizona Diamondbacks:
1. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
2. Kristopher Negron (R) SS
3. Brandon Drury (R) 2B
4. Christian Walker (R) 1B
5. Rey Fuentes (L) CF
6. Adam Rosales (R) 3B
7. Jeremy Hazelbaker (L) RF
8. John Ryan Murphy (R) C
9. Zack Godley (R) P