DH gives Giants chance to see outfielders

DH gives Giants chance to see outfielders

OAKLAND -- While the Giants conclude Interleague Play with their second peek at the Oakland Athletics this week, one of manager Bruce Bochy's methods for finding his glut of outfielders at-bats is expiring.

Don't misunderstand, the 15-year National League manager gets along fine without the use of the designated hitter. But the extra lineup spot gives Bochy an outlet as he and the organization's decision-makers settle on someone to pair with center fielder Aaron Rowand and the versatile Randy Winn.

Fred Lewis was that guy before his batting average declined steadily -- .276 to .257 -- in a span of 30 at-bats. On Monday, he found himself hitting but sitting as the team's DH.

"I'm just trying to stay loose," Lewis said. "I'm just trying to get everything back going again."

Bochy declined to divulge who would DH in the series' final two games but earlier intimated he'll rotate the role, perhaps even giving a half-day off to a player needing a rest on defense, such as the hot-hitting Pablo Sandoval.

On Monday, Bochy had four of his five outfielders in the starting lineup. While he'd obviously like to see a third regular emerge from the pack, he said he would be content with a platoon situation.

Nate Schierholtz went 8-for-19 during the Giants' recent nine-game homestand but may be a victim of his own success off the bench. Schierholtz is second in the National League in pinch-hits with nine. Andres Torres, meanwhile, has seven hits in his last 18 at-bats, mostly filling in as a late defensive replacement.

"We're getting a lot of production," Bochy said. "It does make it more difficult [to make out the lineup].

"Over the course of the season one guy may get hot, and he [becomes] the guy out there. Hopefully, they complement each other well."

Pitching matchup
SF: RHP Tim Lincecum (6-2, 2.72 ERA)
Lincecum was at or near his best through seven innings against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday. In the eighth, however, he yielded three runs and ended up with his first loss since April 12. The right-hander struck out nine Angels and has whiffed at least seven in 11 of his 14 starts this season. During his campaign for the National League Cy Young Award last season, he threw seven shutout innings and got the win in his only start against the Oakland Athletics.

OAK: RHP Vin Mazzaro (2-1, 1.75 ERA)
Mazzaro pitched well Thursday night at Dodger Stadium in his fourth career start. He worked quickly and did not hesitate to challenge the Dodgers hitters. Mazzaro managed to escape trouble in the bottom of the second when Orlando Cabrera stole a couple of RBIs from Russell Martin with a leaping grab at short. Mazzaro gave up a home run in the third to Orlando Hudson and allowed another run in the fifth, but he pitched well enough to win. In all, Mazzaro lasted six innings and gave up two runs on five hits. Mazzaro is 0-1 in his career against the Giants.

Tidbits
Entering play Monday, Sandoval was second in National League batting average with his .338 mark. Bochy said Sandoval, who has 26 multi-hit games this season, should get a look for the All-Star Game. ... Entering Monday's game, the Giants had the fourth lowest Interleague ERA (3.00) this season. ... The Giants bullpen had a 2.08 ERA in June entering Monday. ... Winn and Edgar Renteria haven't homered since late April. ... Emmanuel Burriss is 5-for-24 at the plate since being demoted to Triple-A Fresno.

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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
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•  Official game notes

On television
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On radio
• KNBR 680, KIQI (Español), KATD 990 (Sp.)

Up next
• Wednesday: Giants (Randy Johnson, 6-5, 5.00) at Athletics (Gio Gonzalez, 0-0, 7.27), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Giants (Matt Cain, 9-1, 2.28) at Brewers (Yovani Gallardo, 7-4, 3.00), 5:05 p.m. PT

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