Giants notes: Gearrin placed on DL, Bochy confident in return

cory-gearrin-giants-june30-2016-usatsi.jpg

Giants notes: Gearrin placed on DL, Bochy confident in return

SAN FRANCISCO -- After his bullpen blew a lead Tuesday night, Giants manager Bruce Bochy promised to get with coaches Dave Righetti and Mark Gardner to discuss bullpen changes. The staff did meet, and a new reliever was added, but not because of anyone's struggles. 

Cory Gearrin was put on the disabled list Wednesday with a strained right shoulder and Albert Suarez was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. Bochy said the training staff is confident that Gearrin will need just the two weeks. The sore shoulder is something he has dealt with in the past.

"It was going to be a few days (off) so we placed him on the DL to get this cleared up," Bochy said. "He's had a good first half and been used quite a bit. I don't think he was saying anything, but it was affecting his slider. It was obvious."

Gearrin was a revelation early on but his ERA has crept up to 3.89 thanks to a rough stretch. He gave up a go-ahead three-run homer to Nolan Arenado on a hanging slider Tuesday. 

Bochy hopes the break is good for Gearrin. The manager has said many times in the past that he wishes he could give all relievers a two-week rest during the season, but it's just not possible. Bochy's current group certainly can use the All-Star break. Four relievers rank in the top 18 in the National League in appearances. 

"We know we've been using these guys a lot," Bochy said. "We've had our struggles. We've had to pick up some guys, so that upped the usage."

--- Matt Cain will throw about 65 pitches for Triple-A Sacramento on Friday and Bochy said he'll make one more rehab appearance. With two days off on the first trip out of the break, it's possible that the Giants could skip the No. 5 spot and let Cain get additional work down in the minors. Bochy indicated that he might do that at least once. 

--- Matt Duffy ran on a treadmill and then took BP on the field, and he could start a rehab assignment during the break. But he won't be ready for the second-half opener next Friday night in San Diego. 

--- Bochy said Hunter Pence is "coming along and right on pace." It sounds like he could start a rehab assignment sometime next week. 

--- Gregor Blanco (knee) is feeling better and is available to pinch-hit tonight. Denard Span took early BP and said a trigger injection in his neck did wonders. He should start Friday. 

--- Jake Smith was claimed by the Padres, so the Giants lost a good arm during all this shuffling. Smith had a breakout 2015 but has struggled this season because of injuries. He was designated for assignment last week to clear a 40-man spot for Grant Green.

--- In case you missed it, I talked to Joe Panik about his concussion and the decision to continue playing. 

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The blisters on Johnny Cueto's middle and index fingers that limited his effectiveness in his last few starts haven't yet completely healed.

But the two-time All-Star is learning to pitch with them.

Cueto threw six strong innings and Brandon Crawford drove in three runs as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Sunday.

Cueto (5-4) bounced back from his roughest stretch as a Giant. He was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four starts.

"They're not bothering me like they were before," Cueto said through a translator. "I'm just getting used to it but I have to continue pitching until they get better."

The Giants won their third straight home series and posted their 11th victory in 18 games overall.

Crawford's two-run single highlighted a four-run second against R.A. Dickey (3-4) that made it 6-0.

Matt Kemp had three hits for Atlanta. But the Braves couldn't get much going against Cueto, who allowed one run on six hits and a walk. Cueto struck out eight, including five in a row at one point.

"He did what he needed to do to get us out," Kemp said. "We had chances to score runs and we didn't. I think in this series we really didn't do a good score of scoring runs."

Dickey allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks in six innings.

"This can be a challenging place to throw because of the wind because it swirls so much," Dickey said.

Eduardo Nunez and Gorkys Hernandez each had two hits for the Giants. Joe Panik tripled to start the second-inning burst.

Cueto had two productive at-bats, bunting a runner to second in the second inning and driving in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third.

"It's always nice to have a lead and I thought Johnny was the sharpest he'd been this year," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "Hopefully it's something he can build on. The changeup was working really well and his command of the fastball was really good."

Posey was 0 for 2 with two walks. He hasn't struck out in 55 consecutive plate appearances.

FUN FACTOR:
The Giants scored the game's first run when Nunez came around from third when a knuckleball glanced off catcher Kurt Suzuki glove in the bottom of the first. The play was ruled a passed ball. Asked if he had any empathy for the plight of his counterpart, Posey said "Yes, no question. It's not fun to hit, it doesn't look fun to catch, either."

FANCY FIELDING:
Hernandez made a diving catch in the gap in left-center robbing Emilio Bonifacio of an extra-base hit with one out in the seventh inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips left in the fifth for pinch-hitter Jace Peterson. Phillips fouled a ball off his foot in his last at-bat in the third.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner will start his throwing program on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Bumgarner will start out playing catch and make five rehab starts. The 2014 World Series MVP suffered a separated left shoulder in a dirt biking accident. "The progress is happening," Bochy said. "I think he sees light at the end of the tunnel." ... Slumping rookie INF Christian Arroyo was out of the lineup on Sunday and his playing status appears uncertain. Arroyo, who turns 22 on Tuesday, is 0 for 19 in his last five games. "I'll talk to him, about what his situation is," Bochy said. "I'm definitely planning on giving him a couple of days" off.

UP NEXT:
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will make his first career start against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. He is 3-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 15 career interleague starts.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore will face the Nationals for the second time in his career. He was with Tampa Bay when he gave up two runs in five innings against Washington in 2012.

Giants lineup: Posey catching, Nunez at third base against Braves

Giants lineup: Posey catching, Nunez at third base against Braves

The Giants look to win two straight against the Braves and Bruce Bochy has made a few changes to the lineup Sunday.

Atlanta Braves (21-26)

1. Ender Inciarte (L) CF
2. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
3. Nick Markakis (L) RF
4. Matt Kemp (R) LF
5. Matt Adams (L) 1B
6. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
7. Rio Ruiz (L) 3B
8. Dansby Swanson (R) SS
9. R.A. Dickey (R) P

San Francisco Giants (21-30)

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Eduardo Nunez (R) 3B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Justin Ruggiano (R) RF
7. Joe Panik (L) 2B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P