Giants hitters meet; Fontenot starts for Panda

Giants hitters meet; Fontenot starts for Panda

CHICAGO -- Manager Bruce Bochy took steps to stimulate the Giants' somnolent offense before Thursday's series finale against the Chicago Cubs, calling a hitters meeting and inserting Mike Fontenot for Pablo Sandoval at third base.

Given San Francisco's .215 September batting average, including a .183 figure (11-for-60) in the series' first two games, Bochy believed the Giants needed some quick reminders about proper plate approach.

Sandoval entered the game 4-for-9 in his career against Cubs starter Ryan Dempster. But his overall 3-for-27 skid, which lowered his batting average from .271 to .263, necessitated a benching in Bochy's mind.

Sandoval's inability to stay balanced as he swings has long been identified. But though he has addressed this flaw daily in batting practice, he still rushes his swing during game action.

"We still believe in the guy," Bochy said of Sandoval, who hit .330 with 25 home runs and 90 RBIs last season. "He's been his own worst enemy. He gets himself out. He knows it."