Bruce Bochy is going with a different look in the San Francisco Giants’ outfield for Sunday’s series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks – much different.
Brandon Belt gets his first start in left field since the 2012 season, when he made four. Nori Aoki will man the odd angles in right field.
This being a day game after a night game, Bochy said he was going to play Buster Posey at first base but wanted to get Belt another start after Belt broke an 0-for-20 streak at the plate Saturday night.
“I want to keep Belt in the lineup and try to get him going,” Bochy said.
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The same can be said for Casey McGehee (1-for-6 since missing five games with a knee strain) and Brandon Crawford (2-for-32). Matt Duffy has been more productive early, but McGehee and Crawford are the everyday players on the left side of the infield.
“You’ve got to get your regulars going,” Bochy said. “Our success depends on how they do.”
Bochy likely is hoping for plenty of ground balls to be induced by starting pitcher Tim Hudson today, saying it would help if the Giants scored early runs so he could make some defensive switches in the outfield in the later innings.
Here’s the full Giants starting lineup:
And the Diamondbacks’ lineup:
▪ Bochy said either Ryan Vogelsong or Yusmeiro Petit will be inserted into the starting rotation when Jake Peavy’s spot comes up Thursday against the Dodgers. Peavy was placed on the 15-day DL on Saturday with a lower back strain.
With a day off Monday, the Giants also have the option of moving every starter up a day beginning Thursday. But the Giants traditionally prefer to give their starters that extra day of rest. So it will probably be either Vogelsong or Petit against Zack Greinke in the finale of that series at AT&T Park.
“That’s worked so well for us over the years,” Bochy said. “So that’s kind of the way we are leaning.”
▪ The only injury updates this morning were non-updates, which seems to rule out speedy returns for pitcher Matt Cain and outfielder Hunter Pence. Bochy said Cain remains a week away from throwing, and as far as he knows, Pence has not begun swinging off of a tee yet.
“But I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s at home doing something,” Bochy said.
Pence is the lone player Bochy expects to be at AT&T Park during the off-day Monday, continuing his rehab at the stadium.