Giants being cautious with Sandoval

Giants being cautious with Sandoval

SAN FRANCISCO -- A strained right calf kept Pablo Sandoval out of Tuesday's lineup and might sideline him again Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"I want to be in there but it's their decision," Sandoval said.

Don't mistake Sandoval's remark for insubordination. The switch-hitting third baseman fully understood why the Giants' medical staff is being cautious with him.

"I only want to miss two games, not the rest of the season," said Sandoval, who leads the Giants with a .331 batting average, 19 home runs and 73 RBIs.

Sandoval, who fouled a ball off his calf last week in Cincinnati, aggravated the injury as he ran out a fly ball Monday at Colorado. But he didn't sound overly concerned as he spoke before Tuesday's series opener. Asked if he could pinch-hit, Sandoval grinned and replied, "Oh, sure." He did so in the seventh inning, earning an intentional walk and being lifted for a pinch-runner.

Sandoval's genial nature couldn't hide the fact that the Giants sorely miss him against the D-backs. He entered Tuesday batting .472 (17-for-36) against them this year and is 5-for-14 (.357) lifetime against left-hander Doug Davis, Arizona's starter on Wednesday.

Moreover, any game Sandoval misses at AT&T Park is an unfortunate event for the Giants, given his robust .367 average at home.

Pitching matchup
SF: LHP Jonathan Sanchez (6-10, 4.30 ERA)
In case no one has noticed, Sanchez is on a roll. In his last start, Sanchez struck out eight in five innings and allowed just one unearned run, even though he was pitching without fastball command. Instead, the lefty relied on his slider to record his punchouts. Sanchez has won four of his past six decisions and has a 2.90 ERA since he was reinserted into the rotation. However, Sanchez owns a career 2-6 record with a 5.70 ERA against the D-backs.

ARI: LHP Doug Davis (7-11, 3.77 ERA)
Davis struggled against the Phillies in his last outing, hurt by walks, poor defense behind him and a few big extra-base hits. He surrendered six runs (five earned) in five innings, and it could have been worse had he not stranded the bases loaded in the fourth. Before Thursday, though, Davis had been on a roll, allowing just eight earned runs in 32 innings (2.25 ERA) over his prior five starts, all D-backs wins.

Manager Bruce Bochy said that left-hander Randy Johnson has been playing catch on flat ground in Arizona and likely will join the team this weekend for further evaluation. ... Catcher Bengie Molina was out of Tuesday night's lineup. Not only did Molina catch most of Monday's 14-inning marathon at Colorado, but he also was nursing a tight quadriceps muscle, according to Bochy. ... The Giants issued 13 walks against Colorado on Monday, their most since they totaled the same number at Oakland on May 18, 2007. ... Freshly promoted Ryan Rohlinger's 37 doubles ranked second in the Pacific Coast League. His total also set a Fresno record, eclipsing David Doster's mark.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NBC-11

On radio
• KNBR 680

Up next
• Thursday: Giants (Joe Martinez, 3-1, 5.73) vs. Diamondbacks (Yusmeiro Petit, 2-8, 6.06), 7:15 p.m. PT
• Friday: Giants (Tim Lincecum, 12-4, 2.43) vs. Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez, 12-9, 3.36), 7:15 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Giants (Barry Zito, 8-11, 4.09) vs. Rockies (Jason Marquis, 14-8, 3.47), 6:05 p.m. PT

Chris Haft is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.