The Giants expect to start the second half of the major-league season with their Opening Day rotation intact.
Matt Cain allowed one hit in 5 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento on Friday night. Cain, recovering from a hamstring strain, is scheduled to make one more rehab start next Friday with Class-A San Jose. He would then rejoin the Giants to start one of their two games in Boston, their second series after the All-Star break.
Madison Bumgarner is lined up to start both the Giants’ final game before the break on Sunday and their first game after the break Friday in San Diego. Manager Bruce Bochy said he wants to keep Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto in the top two spots. Both are consistently pitching deep into games, and Bochy said it’s “kind of nice” for the Giants’ bullpen to have consecutive days where they probably won’t be used as much.
That could change if the Giants feel Cueto needs an extra day of rest after pitching in the All-Star Game. It’s undetermined whether Cueto will start the game – though things are shaping up that way. Los Angeles left-hander Clayton Kershaw is hurt and New York Mets’ right-hander Noah Syndergaard left his last start with arm fatigue.
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“I’ve got to think he’s the frontrunner (to start the All-star Game),” Bochy said of Cueto. “That’s not being biased, that’s just looking at numbers. I don’t know what Terry (Collins) is going to do there, but you look at the numbers, they speak for themselves.” Collins will manage the National League All-Stars by virtue to leading the Mets to the N.L. pennant in 2015.
As for injured Giants position players, Bochy said it’s “going to be close” whether Hunter Pence, Matt Duffy and Joe Panik will be ready to rejoin the Giants on their first trip after the break.
Duffy is recovering from an Achilles strain, and Bochy said the third baseman is “a little sore from getting out of the (protective) boot, doing some of the work.” Duffy took batting practice Friday, but Bochy said the Giants have “backed him off a little bit.”
Panik (concussion) is “doing a lot better.” Bochy said he hopes to have a target date by Sunday for when Panik and Pence (hamstring surgery) might start rehab assignments.
“It’s going to be close whether they join us in Boston or New York,” Bochy said.
The Giants open the second half with three games in San Diego, an off-day before a two-game series in Boston, then another off-day before a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. They return home July 25 against the Reds.