OAKLAND -- Mired in a monthlong slump, the Giants could use a boost. It sounds like Marco Scutaro is getting closer to potentially providing one.
Scutaro (lower back strain) went 1-for-3 with an RBI in five innings Monday night in his first game at Triple-A Fresno. The reports manager Bruce Bochy has received regarding Scutaro's progress are all positive. The 38-year-old is moving around well at second base, is comfortable diving for balls and hasn't been limited in the batter's box.
"He feels good. I think he's excited where he's at, so that's good news," Bochy said before Tuesday night's game. "We're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with him."
Bochy said hope exists that Scutaro could play more than a few games per week upon returning, as was the original hope, but he stressed the team won't have a better idea of that until Scutaro plays a full nine-inning game and plays back-to-back games. The plan was for Scutaro to rest Tuesday night and then play nine innings on Wednesday.
"We're knocking on wood on this with he and [Angel] Pagan," Bochy said. "This has been a long road for Marco. You kind of lose hope and you start getting that doubt in there, but now it looks like he's starting to make some really nice progress, and this really could happen here in July.
"This is all good news, really good news for us."
Scutaro has gone 3-for-15 with a double and RBI in seven rehab games between Fresno and the Arizona League Giants.
As for Pagan (lower back strain), he will continue his rehab in Arizona on Wednesday and Bochy's hope remains that his leadoff hitter will return "real close after the All-Star Game."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less