Giants lineup: Sandoval back, batting fifth

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Giants lineup: Sandoval back, batting fifth

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Giants Pregame Live begins at 6:30 on CSN Bay Area, followed by Giants-Nationals at 7:15, and Giants Postgame Live immediately after the final out.

Pablo Sandoval is back in the starting lineup for the first time since July 24. He is batting fifth and playing third base.

Sandoval did get a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning Monday night. He fouled out to third base.

The switch-hitting Venezuelan strained his hamstring in the third inning against the Padres on July 24. The third baseman was playing first base for just the second time all season when the injury occurred. Sandoval stretched to scoop a low throw out of the dirt and wound up doing the splits, straining his left hamstring in the process.

Sandoval was playing first base that night primarily because Brandon Belt was in the midst of a 3-for-41 stretch (.073) from July 3 to July 22.

That dismal period for Belt seems like a distant memory at this point. Since he was reinserted back into the starting lineup on July 25, he is 21-for-55 (.382) in the team's last 19 games.

Marco Scutaro is getting the nod at second base over Ryan Theriot. He is hitting .309 in 17 games since joining the Giants, while Theriot is batting just .230 since Scutaro's acquisition.

Despite his game-winning three-run home run against the Rockies on Sunday, Hunter Pence is hitting just .145 in 13 games with the Giants. He is batting sixth tonight.

Although he has been fantastic all season, Melky Cabrera is in the midst of a "mini-slump," as he is just 4-for-21 (.190) in his last five games.

Putting the lineup aside, after surrendering 14 runs on 21 hits to the Nationals on Monday night, the Giants are looking for a gem from Madison Bumgarner.

The 23-year old lefty was roughed up against the Nationals on the Fourth of July, when he allowed a season-high seven runs in five innings of work.

Washington Nationals
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Giants
1) Angel Pagan (CF)
2) Marco Scutaro (2B)
3) Melky Cabrera (LF)
4) Buster Posey (C)
5) Pablo Sandoval (3B)
6) Hunter Pence (RF)
7) Brandon Belt (1B)
8) Brandon Crawford (SS)
9) Madison Bumgarner (P)

Giants avoid arbitration with Nunez, Smith, Kontos

Giants avoid arbitration with Nunez, Smith, Kontos

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants avoided arbitration with three more veterans on Friday, agreeing to one-year deals with third baseman Eduardo Nuñez, left-hander Will Smith and right-hander George Kontos.

Financial details were not immediately available. MLB Trade Rumors' projections put Nuñez at about $4.4 million, Smith at about $2.3 million, and Kontos at about $1.7 million. The Giants reached deals with all six arbitration eligible players this offseason. 

Nunez, acquired last summer, will enter camp as the starter at third base. He posted a .269/.327/.418 slash line and 12 stolen bases after coming over from the Twins.

Smith was also acquired before the trade deadline, and he had a 2.95 ERA in 26 appearances for the Giants. He is expected to play a pivotal role in setting up for new closer Mark Melancon. 

Kontos has long been Bruce Bochy's most reliable reliever in the middle innings and he could move to a higher-leverage role in a revamped bullpen. He had a 2.53 ERA in 2016, his fifth season with the Giants.

The Giants had previously reached one-year deals with Cory Gearrin, Ehire Adrianza and Conor Gillaspie. They have not gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when a deal could not be reached with A.J. Pierzynski. 
 

Giants Hall-of-Famer Gaylord Perry: Enshrine Bonds, not Rose

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AP

Giants Hall-of-Famer Gaylord Perry: Enshrine Bonds, not Rose

MLB Hall-of-Famer and two-time Cy Young winner Gaylord Perry believes home run king Barry Bonds will eventually be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. 

"I think he’ll get in eventually," Perry said, according to USA Today. "If you have a player like that, pretty soon, you put him in."

Perry, 78, was infamous for doctoring baseballs on the mound and throwing a spitball. Author of 314 career wins over a 22-year season, Perry was inducted into Cooperstown in 1991. His No. 36 is one of 10 numbers retired by the Giants. 

But Perry doesn't feel the same about hit king Pete Rose.

"Pete did the worst thing possible, worse than steroids," Perry said. "He put money on games, win or lose. He’s paying the price."

Bonds, 52, was a seven-time MVP, a 14-time All-Star, a 12-time Silver Slugger, an eight-time Gold Glover. He owns the most home runs (762), the most walks (2,558) and the most intentional walks (688) in MLB history.

Rose, 75, was Rookie of the Year, MVP and a 17-time All-Star. He owns the most games (3,562), plate appearances (15,890), at-bats (14,053), and hits (4,256) in MLB history.