Giants outfield prospect Cole Gillespie, left, is greeted at home plate by teammates after hitting a walk-off three-run home run to beat the Colorado Rockies 9-7 on Sunday in a spring training game in Scottsdale, Ariz. Marcio José Sanchez Associated Press

Sandoval to have tests on sore right elbow

Published: Monday, Mar. 18, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3C
Last Modified: Monday, Mar. 18, 2013 - 6:24 am

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval was scratched from Sunday's 9-7 victory over the Colorado Rockies after he complained of discomfort in his right elbow.

Sandoval said he felt pain in the elbow while making a throw to second base during a game against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday. He stayed in that game and made a subsequent throw to first base but said he did not feel pain on that throw.

Sandoval seemed to be throwing the ball normally during pregame drills Sunday but said his elbow was sore. He also felt the pain swinging left-handed and said it felt worse than the day before.

"We think he'll be fine, because he's had this before," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I can probably answer it better after (today), when he gets treatment and we see where he's at. But there's always concern anytime it's an issue with the arm."

The third baseman said he would go for tests on the elbow today, an off day for the Giants, but did not know if he would have an MRI to determine if there is structural damage.

"I don't think it's something serious," he said. "We'll see what's going on."

Sandoval, the World Series MVP, is having a hot spring, hitting .435 (10 for 23).

• Tim Lincecum, the blister on his right middle finger finally healed, continued to try to find his form, with mixed results. Lincecum worked the first four innings against the Rockies, throwing 68 pitches and allowing three hits, three walks and two runs while striking out one.

Lincecum gave up both runs in the first inning after getting two quick outs and running the count to 0-2 against Carlos Gonzalez. But Gonzalez battled to draw a walk, and Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer ripped back-to-back RBI doubles.

Things did pick up for Lincecum. After the first two hitters reached in the second, he worked his way out of that inning and ultimately retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced, the lone base runner coming on a two-out walk in the fourth.

"I felt pretty good as the game progressed and I got out there more often," he said. "It's going back to fastball command, and that'll take care of the rest of the pitches when you need to get outs."

A's – Common wisdom had it that if Jed Lowrie had a big spring, he was the one guy on the Oakland roster who could keep Hiroyuki Nakajima from being the A's opening-day shortstop.

It turns out that's not entirely accurate. Lowrie, who didn't play Sunday in the A's 12-6 win over the Chicago Cubs in Phoenix, is having a good spring (.333, three doubles, two homers), to be sure. That performance could be good enough to make him the everyday second baseman from among a crowded field.

But if Eric Sogard continues to crush the ball, the A's may feel obligated to find room in the lineup for him, forcing Lowrie to shortstop by default and pushing Nakajima off the podium.

That scenario is no sure thing, but after three singles and a double Sunday, Sogard is hitting .500 (15 for 30) for the spring and looking increasingly like someone who could be a surprise starter for the A's to open the season.

Sogard isn't doing anything but putting up the numbers and waiting.

"I don't think I'm the front-runner," he said. "My place is to put together the best at-bats I can. All I can do is show what I'm capable of and make their decision a tough one."

Nakajima and Sogard were teamed up the middle Sunday against the Cubs. And while Sogard was 4 for 4, Nakajima was hitless in three at-bats as his average fell to .194

The Contra Costa Times contributed to this report.

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Read more articles by Carl Steward



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