SAN FRANCISCO -- Having generated far less offense than can be expected from a reigning World Series Most Valuable Player, Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval took an intensive session of extra batting practice to correct a flaw in his stroke.
Sandoval had been lunging at the ball and swinging too early. So he concentrated on waiting for pitches to come to him. Manager Bruce Bochy alternated with hitting instructors Hensley Meulens and Joe Lefebvre in dispensing advice to the switch-hitter.
"He's not really changing anything. He just needs to get back to what he was," Bochy said. "It could take two or three days. Sometimes things click right away."
Sandoval, who turns 27 on Sunday, entered Friday batting .097 (3-for-31) in his previous eight games. With a batting average of .259, nine home runs and 52 RBIs, Sandoval could accumulate totals that would fall dangerously close to his personal-worst 2010 season (.268, 13 homers, 63 RBIs).
Pence ready to start new stolen base streak
SAN FRANCISCO -- Undaunted by being caught stealing for the first time this year, Giants right fielder Hunter Pence said Friday that he'll maintain a mindset for thievery through the rest of the season.
"I'm also not going to force the issue," Pence said Friday, one day after his foiled first-inning attempt stopped his stolen-base streak at 17 in a row. "That's probably why it's been such a high percentage."
Recounting his unsuccessful try, Pence explained that he took off in a "must-go" situation, with a count of 3-1 on Roger Kieschnick. Pence said that he was on the move to stay out of a double play and to scramble Milwaukee's defense by putting a runner in motion. But the Brewers alertly caught him.
Nevertheless, Pence is one steal away from matching his 2010 career high of 18 which he established with Houston.
Pence attributed his efficiency to improved health and speed. "Also, [manager Bruce] Bochy having faith in me," Pence said. "I have the freedom to go whenever I feel the circumstances are right."
With Machi down to Triple-A, Moscoso gets new role
SAN FRANCISCO -- Optioning right-hander Jean Machi to Triple-A Fresno did more than clear roster room for Friday's starter, Ryan Vogelsong, to be activated from the Giants' disabled list.
The move had a direct effect on right-hander Guillermo Moscoso, who will inherit Machi's role as a middle-inning short reliever. Moscoso had been regarded as a "long" reliever capable of consuming multiple innings if a starter were to leave the game early. But with Barry Zito now inhabiting San Francisco's bullpen, the club had no need for two long relievers.
Manager Bruce Bochy explained that with Moscoso sharing short-relief duties, fellow right-handers Sandy Rosario and Santiago Casilla won't have to appear too early and can continue to work in later innings, as the Giants prefer.
Oddly, Machi owned a 5.19 ERA in 21 appearances at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park. He also had allowed opponents to hit .342 off him at home. Overall, Machi was 2-1 with a 3.34 ERA.
• Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Friday that infielder Tony Abreu (left knee bursitis) will begin a Minor League injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Fresno on Sunday. Abreu is on the brink of ending his second stint of the season on the disabled list.
• The Elias Sports Bureau discovered that by allowing one hit in eight shutout innings Thursday, right-hander Tim Lincecum became the first Major Leaguer since Cincinnati's Johnny Vander Meer threw back-to-back no-hitters in 1938 to surrender one hit and pitch more than six innings in his first win after throwing a no-hitter.
• Brandon Belt's three-run homer Thursday against Milwaukee was San Francisco's seventh of the season with two or more runners on base, the National League's lowest total in that category.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.