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Notes: Schierholtz called up

Notes: Schierholtz called up

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SAN FRANCISCO -- After 21 consecutive scoreless innings, the Giants were looking for a way to shake up their offense, and Triple-A outfielder Nate Schierholtz might just be up for the task.

Schierholtz was added to the Giants' roster before Monday's game against Toronto, and outfielder Daniel Ortmeier was optioned back to Fresno to make room. Schierholtz wasn't in Monday's starting lineup, but he played right field in the ninth inning, fielding a fly ball for the first out of the frame to a raucous ovation from a large group of friends and family. He will likely see more playing time on Wednesday when Barry Bonds is scheduled to rest.

With outfielder Fred Lewis injured, manager Bruce Bochy said he wanted to add another left-handed bat to the lineup, especially before the team takes off for a three-game series in Boston where Bonds will DH. Of course, Schierholtz's .347 average and 33 RBIs posted with the Fresno Grizzlies this season probably factored into the decision to bring him up.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound outfielder was a candidate for the Giants' lineup earlier this season, but an ill-timed injury left him recovering in the Minors. This was in May when Dave Roberts started having elbow problems, and Bochy considered Schierholtz a likely replacement if Roberts went to the DL.

Roberts ended up on the DL, but it was unfortunate timing for Schierholtz, who smacked into the outfield wall going for a fly ball a few days before. By the time Schierholtz recovered, Ortmeier and Lewis had already been called up.

But it wasn't Schierholtz's missed opportunity nor the Giants' stagnant offense that cost Ortmeier a trip back to the Minors.

"It's a better fit right now," Bochy said. "This is one of those cases where Danny's not going down because of his playing. He got some big hits and big home runs for us."

Ortmeier joined the Giants on May 10 and became a reliable bat in clutch situations. Ortmeier hit two game-tying home runs in his short stay and was batting .314 in his nine starts. He left Monday with a .269 batting average, but it probably won't be the last Ortmeier sees of the bigs this year.

"Given the job he did and the injuries we've had already, I think he's shown he can play up here and handle himself," Bochy said.

Over the knife: After seeking a second opinion, backup catcher Eliezer Alfonzo was relieved to hear he could rehab his knee without surgery on a severely sprained posterior cruciate ligament.

Alfonzo, who injured the knee in a home-plate collision Friday, said he prayed all day and night Sunday that it wouldn't come down to season-ending surgery, and 49ers physician Michael Dillingham answered his prayers Monday.

"Thank God," Alfonzo said. "Now I have the strength and energy to come back and help the team."

Alfonzo was optimistic that he could be back around the All-Star break, but Bochy realistically pointed out that he'll be wearing a brace for at least four to six weeks.

"He's loaded with optimism, but I think we might look more toward the end of July or early August," Bochy said.

June blues: It's no secret the Giants are struggling through their lowest point of the season. Entering Monday, they had lost the last seven of 10 games, been shut out the last three of five and were eight games back in the National League West, but the Giants did end one particularly depressing stat Monday -- a 21-inning scoreless streak.

Well, it was mostly Roberts who ended it. He singled in the first inning, stole second and reached third on a bad throw before Ryan Klesko drove him in.

But the Giants will need a lot more of that to dig themselves out of the NL West basement.

"It's going to take at least a whole week of baseball. It doesn't take one or two games or one guy being on fire," shortstop Omar Vizquel said.

Line of duty: Most fans would be delighted for a game souvenir from Bonds, but probably not the type of memento that Bonds imparted on cameraman Mike Phillips during Sunday's game. Phillips was clocked by a Bonds foul ball while manning his camera in the Giants' dugout and took 10 stitches to his forehead. But Phillips avoided the DL and was back at his post Monday.

Little Giants: Fresno pitcher Chris Begg was named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week on Monday after throwing the league's first shutout of the season. Begg shut out Las Vegas on Thursday, giving up just three hits and improving to 4-1 with a 2.28 ERA.

On deck: Left-hander Noah Lowry (5-5, 3.49) will pitch Game 2 of the Toronto series against Blue Jays right-hander A.J. Burnett (5-5, 4.01) at 7:15 p.m. PT on Tuesday.

Becky Regan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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