Renteria returns to Giants' lineup
Shortstop had missed two games with sore shoulder
SAN FRANCISCO -- Shortstop Edgar Renteria, who had missed two games in a row with discomfort in his left shoulder, rejoined the Giants' lineup Saturday."Edgar feels great today," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Bochy implied that this might not be the last time Renteria has to sit for a day or two to rest a "cranky" shoulder. The 34-year-old endured soreness in both shoulders last year, when he hit a career-low .250. Renteria entered Saturday batting .296 overall, the product of a 5-for-38 skid that followed a remarkable 11-for-16 binge in San Francisco's first four games. He returned to his customary No. 2 spot in the batting order.
Uribe departs early with tight elbow
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants second baseman Juan Uribe left Saturday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals after the second inning with tightness in his right elbow.Manager Bruce Bochy said that Uribe's playing status is day-to-day. Bochy said that Uribe began noticing some stiffness in his elbow during pregame drills, but declared himself fit to play. Television replays showed Uribe wincing as he ran toward first base after singling in the second inning off Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright. Uribe stayed in the game as a baserunner but didn't come out to play defense in the third inning. Mark DeRosa moved from left field to second base and John Bowker filled the vacancy in left field. Uribe, 31, is among three Giants to start all 17 of their games so far. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval and first baseman Aubrey Huff are the others. Uribe is hitting .310 and leads the Giants with 11 RBIs. Second baseman Mark DeRosa was hit twice on the left elbow by pitches from Adam Wainwright but remained optimistic about playing in Sunday's series finale. DeRosa felt certain that Wainwright did not throw at him intentionally.
"That's the book on me -- hard in, soft away," DeRosa said.
Velez draws leadoff assignment
SAN FRANCISCO -- Despite entering Saturday in a 1-for-16 skid, center fielder Eugenio Velez returned to the leadoff spot for the Giants after resting Friday.Manager Bruce Bochy admitted that he considered right fielder Nate Schierholtz as an alternative at leadoff against St. Louis right-hander Adam Wainwright. "We could have gone either way with [Velez] and Schierholtz," Bochy said. Bochy indicated that he preferred the Velez-Wainwright matchup to the Schierholtz-Wainwright confrontation. Velez has never faced Wainwright, but Schierholtz was 0-for-5 against the Cardinals co-ace before Saturday. With center fielder Aaron Rowand on the disabled list with broken bones on the left side of his face, much of the outfield is in a constant state of flux. Only left fielder Mark DeRosa is virtually certain to start every day. John Bowker, who opened the season as the No. 1 right fielder, has ceded playing time to Schierholtz, a .320 hitter entering Saturday. Bochy said that Bowker still will receive ample opportunities to play. For now, Bochy said, "Nate is finding ways to get his hits and play good defense." Center field remains a virtual platoon between switch-hitters, with Velez facing right-handers and Andres Torres confronting lefties.
Romo shakes off rough outing
SAN FRANCISCO -- Sergio Romo acknowledged that the scoreless eighth inning he pitched Friday, which featured a strikeout of St. Louis star Albert Pujols and a harmless ground ball from slugger Matt Holliday, bolstered his confidence considerably.The Giants entered Friday having lost four games in a row, for which Romo felt personally responsible. Last Sunday, he yielded Manny Ramirez's two-run homer in the eighth inning that gave Los Angeles a 2-1 triumph. "They always say short-term memory is the biggest thing for a reliever," Romo said. "It's easier said than done. My mistake put us in a losing streak. It's harder to swallow when we're not playing well after that." Romo, who entered Saturday with a 1.17 ERA and a .179 opponents' batting average despite his lapse against Ramirez, feels he must continue to excel to justify manager Bruce Bochy's faith in him. Moreover, with less than two years of Major League service time, Romo is still trying to establish himself. "I want to get the job done not only for my team, but also for my manager, so he knows he made a good decision bringing me in," Romo said.
More tough pitching ahead for Giants
SAN FRANCISCO -- St. Louis' Adam Wainwright, whom the Giants confronted Saturday night, was only the first in a series of top-flight pitchers San Francisco will face in upcoming days.Sunday, the Giants will encounter Brad Penny, who began Saturday ranked seventh in the National League with a 1.29 ERA. When the Philadelphia Phillies open a three-game series here Monday, the Giants' first nemesis will be right-hander Roy Halladay, a six-time All-Star and former Cy Young Award winner who's 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA. Halladay will oppose Giants left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, who owns a 1.86 ERA. Halladay will be followed by 260-game winner Jamie Moyer on Tuesday. The series will conclude Wednesday with a marquee matchup between Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum and Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels, the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 World Series and National League Championship Series. "It's always good to have games like that, because they're high-intensity games," Giants catcher Bengie Molina said. Confronting Penny, who went 4-1 for the Giants last September, won't necessarily bear extra significance for the Giants. "I don't think it's going to be a big deal, because we faced him so many times with the Dodgers," Molina said.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.