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Winn fine with Giants' lineup shuffling

Winn fine with Giants' lineup shuffling

HOUSTON -- With the addition of Freddy Sanchez and Ryan Garko to the Giants, manager Bruce Bochy knew he'd have to sit down and figure out the best way to utilize his new players in the lineup.

Bochy has shuffled around the lineup with the Giants' latest acquisitions, hitting Sanchez second in the order and batting Garko in both the fourth and fifth spot. While the new order isn't set in stone, Bochy said it gives off a different vibe, one he hopes will lead them to the playoffs.

"Having them in there was a different feel. I could feel it and I think the club could," Bochy said. "What you get with those two is more quality at-bats with their experience. With Freddy, you have a batting champion and with Garko, he can swing it, but even if they aren't getting hits and [are] making outs, you're still getting good at-bats."

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Right away, Garko showed his ability to provide San Francisco with quality plate appearances. On Friday, Garko worked a 12-pitch at-bat that ended in a walk in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Sanchez, who is seen as more of an aggressive hitter, has also provided a lift. But being penciled in at the two-hole, the Giants second baseman forced Bochy to shuffle former No. 2 hitter Randy Winn down in the order. Winn hit eighth Sunday and Monday and sixth Tuesday.

"I know Randy is not an eight-hole hitter," Bochy said. "But it shows us that we have more depth than before and now we have some speed there. Whether it stays like that I can't tell you for sure."

A move down in the order doesn't bother Winn, who said he'll take the same approach to the plate he has his entire career.

"You hit to game situations," Winn said. "If there's runners on, you try to drive them in. If there's a guy on second and no outs, you try to move them over. Nothing's changed. I don't mind where I hit in the lineup. I've said that many times. I've hit everywhere in the lineup except fourth in my career, so it doesn't bother me to move up and down the lineup. Just whatever I can do to help the team."

Even though Winn is not considered a typical eight-spot hitter, and bunting is a rare occurrence from a hitter in that spot with the pitcher typically due up after, Winn's speed provides the Giants with more options at the bottom of the lineup.

"You feel a little more comfortable with a guy who is a good runner and has a good percentage and it's less of a gamble," Bochy said about the possibility of having Winn lay a bunt down from time to time.

Pitching matchup
SF: RHP Joe Martinez (1-0, 6.75 ERA)
Martinez was named the Giants starter for the club's series finale with the Houston Astros, becoming the team's seventh starter of the season. He makes his return to the big leagues for the first time since being placed on the disabled list on April 10 after taking a line drive off the head against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 9, leaving him with a concussion and three hairline fractures. The 26-year-old rookie right-hander was scheduled to start Monday for Fresno, but he was scratched and the Grizzlies made it a bullpen game.

HOU: RHP Brian Moehler (7-6, 4.99 ERA)
Moehler pitched well in his previous start Friday in St. Louis, a game the Astros lost when the bullpen allowed two runs in the eighth. Moehler went 6 2/3 innings and gave up seven hits and two runs, including a homer to Mark DeRosa. That was his seventh quality start in his past nine outings, lowering his ERA to 4.99. He's 1-1 with an 8.88 ERA in six career games against the Giants.

Tidbits
Pablo Sandoval has started 97 of the Giants' 107 games this season, including his last 26 contests and 54 of his last 55. Only Winn has started more games, with 99 starts this season.

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

On television
• CSN-BA

On radio
• KNBR 680

Up next
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Giants (Tim Lincecum, 12-3, 2.18) vs. Reds (Homer Bailey, 2-3, 7.06), 7:15 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Giants (Barry Zito, 7-10, 4.47) vs. Reds (Bronson Arroyo, 10-10, 5.10), 1:05 p.m. PT

Jason Grodsky 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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