Second baseman Jeff Keppinger was out of Tuesday's starting lineup with a sprained right wrist, sustained when he crossed first base as he beat out a fifth-inning infield hit Monday. Keppinger collided with Atlanta's Freddie Freeman, who couldn't leave Keppinger's path as he fielded a wide throw. Keppinger underwent an MRI, which revealed no structural damage, and he said that he hopes to play Wednesday.
Right fielder Nate Schierholtz also was sidelined after fouling a ball off the side of his right foot in Monday's eighth inning. Schierholtz was struck in virtually the same spot as Pablo Sandoval was in the game's first inning. Being forced to sit was a cruel fate for Schierholtz, who hit a tiebreaking homer off Tim Hudson in the sixth inning. Schierholtz also underwent an MRI, which proved that he wasn't seriously hurt. "I got lucky," Schierholtz said.
Outfielder Aaron Rowand strained his left side, most likely on a swing during a ninth-inning at-bat Monday. Rowand managed to pinch-hit in Tuesday's eighth inning and grounded out. He, Keppinger and Schierholtz remain day to day.
Thus, the Giants' bench consisted of two healthy players Tuesday: utility infielder Mark DeRosa and catcher Eli Whiteside. Assembling a lineup for the game against the Braves was such a struggle for Bochy that he didn't name his starting nine until approximately a half-hour before the Giants took the field for batting practice. Typically, the lineup's posted around four hours before the first pitch, sometimes earlier.
So strapped were the Giants for players that Sandoval, who limped out of the clubhouse Monday night and was expected to rest for at least a day or two, started at first base.
"He showed up today and came right to [my] office and said, 'I'm playing,' " Bochy said.
Moreover, instead of sending infielder Miguel Tejada to Double-A Richmond for an injury rehabilitation assignment, the Giants kept the 37-year-old with them and activated him from the DL so he could start at third base. This was Tejada's first game since July 18.
"Desperate times call for desperate measures," Bochy said.
In his 17th consecutive season as a Major League manager, Bochy acknowledged that he had never seen a team experience so much attrition in such a short time.
"We got hit pretty hard today," Bochy said. "But you know what? You deal with it and you move on. ... We're not going to make excuses. We're going to keep fighting and battle every night. That's all you can do because you don't have another choice. It's baseball. You deal with it."
Beltran traveled Tuesday with Giants head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner to the Cleveland Clinic for a visit with renowned hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham, who gave the right fielder the second cortisone shot he has received since he hurt himself Aug. 7. Bochy said he was not told that Beltran's injury was worse than initially believed.
Beltran, acquired from the Mets on July 28 to bolster San Francisco's sagging offense, owns a .244 average (11-for-45) and two RBIs in 11 games with the Giants.
Romo, the Giants' top right-handed setup reliever, returned to San Francisco for treatment and further evaluation. His departure initiated a logical chain reaction in the bullpen.
Left-hander Dan Runzler was recalled from Triple-A Fresno to serve as San Francisco's long reliever, a role he can handle after having started 10 games in the Minors. Guillermo Mota, the Giants' previous long man, will be called upon when the Giants need a right-hander in the sixth or seventh innings. Bochy said that Santiago Casilla and Ramon Ramirez will share right-handed specialist duties for the eighth inning.