Giants in wait-and-see mode

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Giants in wait-and-see mode

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Jaymee Sire and senior coordinating producer Dave Bernstein are in Texas to cover the MLB Winter Meetings. Look for updates throughout the day on the Web and comprehensive coverage on SportsNet Central this week.

DALLAS -- Hurry up and wait.

Its a popular phrase used by the media to cover sports. The concept is pretty simple. Hurry up to get to a place to cover an event. Wait to get anything done due to circumstances.

It can also be used to describe coverage of baseballs annual Winter Meetings. This year they are being held in Dallas, metroplex home of the two-time defending American League champion Rangers. For the Giants, there could be a whole lot of waiting.

There are many in Bay Area who are hoping for a splash. Everyone knows the names -- Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Jimmy Rollins -- that will get the most buzz this week. Giants fans should forget about those names. Think more of the Alex Gonzalez and Rafael Furcal ilk.

General manager Brian Sabean has been here before. He knows the circus of the Meetings better than most. Hot Stove geeks -- myself included -- wait for this nearly as much as the start of spring training. Its always interesting to see how team-building takes its course.

There will plenty of free agent signings in Texas this week. There will probably be some significant trades as well. But San Franciscos priority starts from within. Figuring out how to lock down Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain must be the first order of business. Pitching is the fabric of Giants baseball at AT&T Park, so the front office knows it must keep its top two horses in the stable.

You could see the Giants deal from the bullpen -- a strength for them, a weakness for plenty of other teams. Likely, any of those arms would not net a major offensive return.

There is some intrigue on deck offensively though. Will Carlos Beltran be back? Possible. But dont expect any major contributors to be wearing Orange and Black after the Giants' contingent comes back from Dallas. They are counting on the continued growth of Pablo Sandoval, the injury rebound of Buster Posey and maturation of Brandon Belt. They're all young and inexpensive right now, and the Giants need major output from those bats.

With the bloated contracts of Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand still on the books, Larry Baers ownership group has its collective hands tied in many ways. While agents Scott Boras and Dan Lozano are floating their clients out to many teams, Sabean may listen.

There are plenty of Giants fans who are excited about a potential big deal this week, and cant stay off of csnbayarea.com, Twitter and Rotoworld to get all the latest news. I have two thoughts for you. Hurry up. And wait.

Giants lineup: Panik leading off in series opener vs Cubs

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AP

Giants lineup: Panik leading off in series opener vs Cubs

Bruce Bochy and Joe Maddon issued their lineups for today's series opener in Chicago:

Giants (19-26)
1. Joe Panik (L) 2B
2. Christian Arroyo (R) 3B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Eduardo Nunez (R) LF
7. Justin Ruggiano (R) RF
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) CF
9. Ty Blach (R) P (1-2, 4.15 ERA)

Cubs (22-20) 
1. Ben Zobrist (S) LF
2. Albert Almora Jr. (R) CF
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Willson Contreras (R) C
6. Addison Russell (R) SS
7. Jason Heyward (L) RF
8. Javier Baez (R) 2B
9. John Lackey (R) P (4-3, 4.37 ERA)

Former Giants top prospect earns first career MLB win with Twins

Former Giants top prospect earns first career MLB win with Twins

BOX SCORE

MINNEAPOLIS -- Adalberto Mejia made the most of his brief stint back in the majors with the Minnesota Twins by getting his first big-league win.

Robbie Grossman, Max Kepler and Chris Gimenez all homered to help Mejia and the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 8-4 in the second game Sunday to salvage a split of a doubleheader.

Mejia (1-1) was the Twins' 26th active player for the second game and allowed three runs in seven innings, on two home runs by Salvador Perez - who also went deep in the first game.

Mejia's reward for his first win? A trip back to Triple-A Rochester.

"I'm going to go down there and work on the things they told me work on," Mejia said through interpreter Carlos Font. "Then it will be up to them to see when I get back."

Grossman and Kepler each hit two-run homers in the first inning, and Brian Dozier had an RBI double in the second off Ian Kennedy (0-4) in his first game back from the disabled list.

Brandon Moss hit two of Kansas City's four home runs in the opener of the doubleheader, and Perez and Jorge Bonifacio each hit two-run homers to lead the Royals to a 6-4 win earlier in the day.

With the split, the Twins are now 7-1 on the year against the Royals. Kansas City's win in the first game snapped a seven-game losing streak against Minnesota.

Kennedy, who returned after missing time with a hamstring strain, said he felt fine physically. He walked three batters and gave up a pair of two-run homers in just two innings Sunday.

"He was way out of whack," manager Ned Yost said. "His leg was fine. He felt normal, felt good. Just timing was off, rhythm was off."

MINOR'S WIN

Mike Minor's road back to the majors was not an easy one. Shoulder surgery kept him out of the majors for two years and resulted in a move to the bullpen.

Minor got his first victory since 2014 with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in the first game Sunday. He relieved Jake Junis with a 5-2 lead in the fifth, two outs and two on. The 29-year-old left-hander walked Max Kepler, then retired Kennys Vargas on a popup. Minor retired the side in order in the sixth.

Minor had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder in May 13, 2015, and did not appear in the major leagues in 2015 and 2016. Minor, who signed a $7.25 million, two-year contract with the Royals in February 2016, got his first major league victory since Aug. 28, 2014, for Atlanta.

JUNIS' FIRST START

Kansas City's Jake Junis, a 24-year-old right-hander, was recalled from Triple-A Omaha and made his first big league start after a pair of relief appearances. He allowed two runs, five hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings, leaving after RBI singles from Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano.

Junis found out Saturday that he would be making his first career start. He didn't pitch deep enough to get the win, but impressed manager Ned Yost before the Royals optioned Junis back to Omaha after the game.

"I thought he did a nice job," Yost said. "We tried to get him through that fifth inning, but we needed to win this game."

ROYALS MOVES

Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon missed the second game to join his wife, who is due to give birth on Monday. Infielder Raul Mondesi replacing Gordon on the roster but was optioned to Triple-A Omaha after the game. That means LHP Miguel Almonte, initially the Royals' 26th active player Sunday, remains on the 25-man roster. ... RHP Al Alburquerque was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Junis.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: RHP Nate Karns had his pitching arm evaluated after Friday's start against Minnesota. Manager Ned Yost said fluid was found in the elbow area but Karns does not have a strain. Karns exited his start Friday after five innings and threw just 72 pitches due to stiffness in his arm.

Twins: RHP Phil Hughes was placed on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with shoulder discomfort. Hughes took the loss in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader. Right-hander Kyle Gibson will take Hughes' place on the roster.

UP NEXT

Royals: LHP Jason Vargas (5-2, 2.03 ERA) starts Monday's series opener at the New York Yankees.

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (0-4, 8.20 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start Monday against Baltimore.