SAN FRANCISCO -- In order to make room on the roster for Chad Gaudin when the Giants activated him in time to start Sunday, the club optioned left-hander Mike Kickham to Triple-A Fresno.
Kickham, who has pitched for the Giants in two stints this season as both a starter and a long reliever, will return to the rotation in Fresno. Manager Bruce Bochy said he liked what he saw from the rookie.
"I thought he did well," Bochy said. "He used his changeup better, he was a little more in rhythm out of the stretch. I thought he made some progress up here and it's all about growing. We gave him some things we want him to work on [in Fresno]."
Kickham, along with reliever George Kontos, saved the bullpen from overuse in Friday's 10-2 loss to the Dodgers. Kickham went three innings of relief in a game where starter Matt Cain lasted only 2 1/3 innings. Kickham allowed two runs on four hits while striking out five.
In four big league outings (three starts), Kickham is 0-3 with a 12.15 ERA. He has allowed 25 hits in 13 1/3 innings while striking out 15 and walking five.
Andrew Owens is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @OwensAndrew. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.