Sandoval not a lock to DH past Game 3

Sandoval not a lock to DH past Game 3

ARLINGTON -- Various factors probably will influence whether Pablo Sandoval retains his Game 3 role as the Giants' designated hitter.

Sandoval's performance Saturday obviously is something manager Bruce Bochy will consider.

"As far as [Game 4] tomorrow, we'll see how it goes tonight," Bochy said before the Giants' 4-2 loss to the Rangers, in which Sandoval went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. "He's excited. I know he has been antsy to get out there."

Sandoval's chances of returning as DH for Game 4 may have actually diminished if the Giants had won Game 3. That would have widened San Francisco's Series lead to 3-0, which in turn may have prompted Texas to start ace left-hander Cliff Lee in Game 4 in an effort to avoid a sweep.

Since Sandoval hit .227 right-handed and .282 left-handed during the regular season, Lee would force the switch-hitter to bat from his weaker side. With Lee on the mound, Bochy may have preferred to use right-handed-batting Aaron Rowand or Pat Burrell as the DH.