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Bochy faces lineup decisions vs. lefties

Bochy faces lineup decisions vs. lefties

LOS ANGELES -- Though manager Bruce Bochy has settled on a relatively set lineup against right-handed starters, opposing left-handers will still prompt him to make personnel adjustments when he tries to select his starting eight position players.

Bochy will face such decisions Sunday when the Giants oppose the Los Angeles Dodgers and lefty Randy Wolf in the series finale.

The natural tendency would be to form a batting order heavy on right-handers in a platoon situation, particularly because Wolf is tough against left-handed batters. They're hitting .146 off him, compared to .250 by right-handers.

Bochy probably has at least one easy call. He'll likely start first baseman Ryan Garko, who's batting .281 against lefties with the Giants and .317 overall. Travis Ishikawa is batting a respectable .303 off lefties, but Wolf's success against left-handed batters could sway Bochy.

Hampered by sore shoulders and bone chips in his right elbow that will require postseason surgery, shortstop Edgar Renteria, whom Bochy said has been relegated mostly to bench duty, probably won't start. Still, his .294 career average against Wolf (10-for-34) might tempt Bochy to play him.

But Bochy won't just automatically throw in every right-handed batter he has. Switch-hitters Randy Winn and Eugenio Velez are batting .157 and .167, respectively, off left-handed pitchers. Bochy might opt instead for switch-hitting outfielder Andres Torres, who's batting .327 off left-handers.

Despite being a left-handed batter, right fielder Nate Schierholtz is another candidate to play against Wolf, given his .388 average against left-handers.

Wolf happens to own a 7-4 record with a 3.24 ERA in 15 career starts against the Giants, including 1-0, 0.64 this year. The Giants are 21-17 against left-handed starters this year.

Pitching matchup
SF: RHP Tim Lincecum (14-5, 2.30 ERA)
Lincecum's coming off the 19th double-digit strikeout game of his career and seventh this season, having punched out 11 Rockies in San Francisco's 9-1 win over Colorado last Monday. Lincecum hasn't fared as well on the road this season (5-4, 2.88 ERA) as he has at home (9-1, 1.79). Lincecum has made 24 quality starts in 29 outings, a major reason why he leads the National League with a 2.30 ERA. He received a no-decision in his only previous 2009 appearance at Dodger Stadium, yielding four runs (three earned) in six innings while walking one and striking out eight on May 10. The Giants won that game in 13 innings, 7-5.

LAD: LHP Randy Wolf (10-6, 3.24 ERA)
Wolf has won five of his past seven starts, during which he has a 2.34 ERA. He went seven or more innings six times in those games. He's coming off a no-decision against Pittsburgh in which he allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings. Los Angeles owns a 20-11 record in his 31 starts.

Tidbits
San Francisco's bullpen has stranded 12 of its past 13 inherited runners and 27 of 32. ... Entering Saturday, the Giants had stolen five bases in four games after pilfering just nine in their previous 33 games. ... Lincecum is 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA in six career appearances (five starts) against the Dodgers. ... Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt continues to lead the National League in relief ERA (1.78) while topping the Majors in holds (31) and double plays induced by a reliever (16). ... Garko is batting .310 (18-for-58) on the road with the Giants, compared to .103 (4-for-39) in 15 games at AT&T Park. ... Fred Lewis' pinch-hit RBI double on Friday ended a hitless streak of seven at-bats off the bench.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

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

On television
• CSN-BA

On radio
• KNBR 680

Up next
• Monday: Giants (Barry Zito, 10-12, 3.94) at D-backs (Doug Davis, 7-13, 4.01), 6:40 p.m. PT
• Tuesday: Giants (Matt Cain, 13-6, 2.71) at D-backs (Billy Buckner, 2-6, 6.79), 6:40 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Giants (Jonathan Sanchez, 6-12, 4.29) at D-backs (Kevin Mulvey, 0-1, 10.95), 7:10 p.m. PT

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

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