Sanchez likely to start season on DL

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Sanchez likely to start season on DL

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Its going from likely to obvious thatFreddy Sanchez will start the season on the disabled list. And at least for themoment, the rest of the Giants middle infield is in pretty bad shape, too.

Emmanuel Burriss (right hamstring) and Ryan Theriot (rolledankle) were not on the travel list for tonights exhibition against theColorado Rockies at Salt River Fields. Both players sustained minor injuriesWednesday and were given rest as a precaution, although manager Bruce Bochyexpected them to be available on Friday. Also, shortstop Brandon Crawford wassent home sick.

As for Freddy Sanchez, he still hasnt taken infieldpractice this week and there remains no timetable to get into a game at secondbase. Sanchez merely got at-bats as a DH in minor league camp , anddidnt look so good, either.

Bochy confirmed that Sanchez wouldnt make the opening-dayroster if all he can do is pinch hit.

Thats fair to say, sure, Bochy said. Now, a lot dependson how close he is. But if he cant go out there and play defense, the bestthing to do is let him start on the DL and let him get ready to play secondbase. Its a lot easier to do that by sending him (on rehab assignment) to(Triple-A) Fresno.

In other pregame news, Ryan Vogelsong will pitch his inningon Thursday, not Saturday, and its going to be in minor league camp. Pablo Sandoval,who is in a rut at the plate, will go down to get more at-bats in minor leaguecamp, too.

Heres tonights lineup:

CF Angel Pagan
LF Melky Cabrera
3B Pablo Sandoval
1B Aubrey Huff
RF Nate Schierholtz
SS Joaquin Arias
2B Mike Fontenot
C Eli Whiteside
P Brian Burres

Youll notice Schierholtz (strained right forearm) is backout there. The Giants brought up Joe Panik to be available as a backupinfielder, even though he already played in a game on the minor league side inthe afternoon. Im sure he doesnt mind.

Panik was honored along with other minor league awardwinners today because he was 21 for 21 last season at driving in a runner fromthird base with less than two outs. How very un-Giantlike of him.

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