Giants move toward steady lineup with Sandoval

Giants move toward steady lineup with Sandoval

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval's return to the starting lineup gave the Giants their first look at what could be the consistent lineup heading toward the last stretch of the season.

Sandoval started at third base in Tuesday's game against the Nationals, with Marco Scutaro shifting from third base to second. The switch-hitting Sandoval batted fifth between righties Buster Posey and Hunter Pence. Scutaro, who had batted everywhere from leadoff to deeper in the order, batted second Tuesday.

"That's going to be pretty close to what we'll have for the most part," manager Bruce Bochy said.

Both Pence and Scutaro were acquired after Sandoval went down July 24 with a strained left hamstring. Bochy had previously said that Scutaro, who had been filling in for the injured Sandoval at third base, would continue to get consistent at-bats somewhere in the infield, but he will get a day off Wednesday with Ryan Theriot getting the start.

Sandoval was activated from the disabled list before Monday's game but was not in the starting lineup.