DENVER -- For sheer entertainment value, Saturday's first-inning rundown that involved Colorado's Eric Young Jr., the entire Giants infield and pitcher Madison Bumgarner was hard to beat."I think it's the first time I've seen a standing ovation for a runner who just got picked off as he left the field," Giants bench coach Ron Wotus said Sunday. Wotus, who tutors San Francisco's infielders, wouldn't have given heavy applause to their execution of the fundamentals. But he didn't complain about the result of the back-and-forth play, which was scored 1-5-6-4-5-3-1 as Young broke early on a stolen-base try and was trapped between second and third. "Guys gave up the ball too quickly," Wotus said, pointing out that an ideal rundown should not involve as many exchanges as the Giants made. "When you give it up a little early, the runner has a chance to change direction and stay in the rundown." That's exactly what happened with Young, whom Wotus credited for taking advantage of the Giants' tiny yet significant lapses.
"It can be more difficult with a speedy runner when he has distance between himself and the fielder," Wotus said.He added that at least one of the infielders should have pump-faked a throw, though that's discouraged. A pump-fake might have enabled the Giants to narrow the gap between themselves and Young more quickly. But Wotus did praise the infielders for not obstructing Young on the basepath, which would have prompted the umpires to award him third base.
Sandoval about a week away from returning
DENVER -- Third baseman Pablo Sandoval likely will need another week to recover from his strained left hamstring before he can be reinstated from the disabled list, manager Bruce Bochy said.Sandoval will become eligible for activation Thursday. But he apparently will need additional time to heal sufficiently and sharpen his baseball-related skills, which he already has begun doing by taking batting and fielding practice. Bochy said that Sandoval, who's batting .299 with eight home runs and 33 RBIs in 62 games, could be activated a day or two earlier or later than expected.
"But I go on what the trainers say, and they're guessing about a week," Bochy added.Since being acquired from Colorado and replacing Sandoval at third base, Marco Scutaro had hit safely in seven of eight games while batting .355 (11-for-31) entering Sunday.
Bochy said Sunday that the Giants are likely to stick with a 13-man pitching staff at least through this week's four-game series at St. Louis. He pointed out that San Francisco used five relievers Saturday, which doesn't count occasions when a pitcher warms up but doesn't enter the game. "They get taxed," Bochy said. By homering in three consecutive games -- he rested Thursday -- Buster Posey became the first Giants catcher to accomplish that feat since Brian Johnson did so on May 26-28, 1998. Tom Haller was the last San Francisco catcher to homer in four straight games (Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 1964). Posey started at first base Sunday. In his first game with Triple-A Fresno, Emmanuel Burriss started at second base and went 2-for-4 with a triple in the Grizzlies' 5-4 loss to Nashville on Saturday. The Giants designated Burriss for assignment July 28.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.