Simmering Sandoval questionable to play vs. Marlins

Simmering Sandoval questionable to play vs. Marlins
May 14, 2014, 6:00 pm
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Pablo Sandoval injured his left big toe during the Giants' 10-4 win over the Braves on Wednesday. (USATSI)

Programming note: Marlins-Giants coverage starts Thursday at 6:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (Channel Locations)

SAN FRANCISCO – Pablo Sandoval made two diving stops at third base, he collected a pair of hits and he boosted his average over .200 for the first time since April 1 in the Giants’ 10-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves Wednesday afternoon.

Sandoval also didn’t make it to the end. He exited the game as part of a double-switch in the sixth inning because of a left big toe that flared up in his first at-bat.

[RELATED: Instant Replay: Giants run over Braves, 10-4]

Giants manager Bruce Bochy was hopeful that Sandoval would start Thursday when the Giants begin a four-game series with the Miami Marlins. But he couldn’t say for certain.

“He said it was bothering him, and I didn’t think it was worth the risk,” said Bochy, who must’ve been sufficiently concerned because he’s operating with just a four-man bench.

Sandoval hit the tiebreaking single in the fourth inning that drove Braves right-hander Julio Teheran from the game and gave the Giants a lead they would not relinquish. He has hit safely in five consecutive games and he has knocked in a run in two of his last three starts after going 20 games without an RBI.

There were glimmers here and there of a turnaround but Sandoval began to emerge last Sunday when Bochy put him in the cleanup spot at Dodger Stadium, and the switch-hitter asked the manager how much he had to drink the previous night.

Bochy said he hadn’t given up on Sandoval. Neither had his teammates.

“I’m really proud of him,” said Hunter Pence, who hit a two-run homer amid a four-hit afternoon. “I’m proud of the way he’s carried himself with his charisma and his energy. He’s hit a lot of line drives and had some good at-bats here. It’s awesome to see him finding some holes.”

Said Madison Bumgarner, who matched a career high with five extra-base hits allowed in five innings, yet still got the win: “One thing about him is he’s had a good attitude this whole time. If you’re in the clubhouse, you wouldn’t know if he’s hitting .400 or .100. We all knew he’d come around.”

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