Pablo Sandoval undergoes MRI

Pablo Sandoval undergoes MRI
August 21, 2013, 12:30 pm
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Brett Pill continued taking ground balls at third base to provide coverage behind Joaquin Arias. (AP)

Programming note: Red Sox-Giants coverage begins today at 12 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – Pablo Sandoval underwent a precautionary MRI exam on his sore lower back that revealed no structural damage, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy expected his starting third baseman to return to the lineup on Thursday.

Sandoval was held out of the lineup for the second consecutive day Wednesday after his back stiffened up on the flight from Miami after Sunday night’s game.

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In the meantime, Brett Pill continued taking ground balls at third base to provide coverage behind Joaquin Arias. The Giants are operating without an extra infielder while Sandoval remains out of commission.

Bochy said he’ll look to move role-type players like Pill around to different positions over these final five weeks of the season, to increase their versatility for next year. Pill also has gotten work in left field, but Bochy opted against starting him against Boston left-hander Felix Doubront because it’s a tougher assignment in the daytime.

Roger Kieschnick gets the start instead, even though it’s a lefty-lefty matchup. Kieschnick has hit lefties well this season.

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