Bay Area Baseball

Follow the latest news and notes on the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics

April 3, 2013
Giants: No Belt, Posey at 1B for series finale in L.A.

Update 6:25 p.m.: Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the plan was for Buster Posey to catch Tim Lincecum tonight, but with Brandon Belt still not fully recovered from his stomach virus, he decided to start Posey at first base and get Hector Sanchez his first start of the season behind the plate.

Bochy said the last reports of Sanchez's games in minor-league camp -- Sanchez was battling a shoulder issue for the latter part of spring and stayed behind for recovery when the Giants played their exhibition games against Oakland in the Bay Area -- were that Sanchez was "throwing well, swinging the bat, catching, blocking. So he's good to go."

Not so much for Belt, who said he's feeling a little better and no longer nauseous but still not back to normal. Sounds like it was a pretty unpleasant bug that he caught. Bochy said he wanted to rest Belt and make sure he's back to normal for Friday's home opener.

Also, briefly, Bochy said he can't really call Pablo Sandoval (elbow) day-to-day anymore after watching Sandoval play the first two games of the series. Sandoval had two hits off Clayton Kershaw on opening day and made a couple nice defensive plays last night to his backhand side, throwing across the diamond. Bochy said the Giants will still monitor Sandoval's workload early in the season, "but I think he's past that."

LOS ANGELES -- No pressure on Tim Lincecum tonight, but here we are in the third game of the season and he could still become the first Giants starting pitcher to allow a run in 2013. Matt Cain threw six shutout innings on opening day and Madison Bumgarner blanked the Dodgers for eight innings last night, marking just the third time since 1958 that Giants starters have thrown at least six shutout innings in back-to-back games to start the season.

Lincecum was part of the last one in 2010, when he and Barry Zito turned in a pair of scoreless outings against the Houston Astros. (The other was John Burkett and Bill Swift in 1994 against the Pirates). Going back to 1921, according to STATS LLC, the Giants have never had this happen three games in a row.

Here's the lineup the Giants will run out behind Lincecum. After saying earlier this week (and repeating last night) that Buster Posey would catch all three games of this series -- including Lincecum's start -- Bruce Bochy has Posey playing first base. It could be that Brandon Belt is still too sick to play -- we'll ask. Gregor Blanco, meanwhile, gets his first start of the season in left field and Hector Sanchez will catch Lincecum.

CF Pagan
2B Scutaro
3B Sandoval
1B Posey
RF Pence
C Sanchez
LF Blanco
SS Crawford
P Lincecum

And here's what Lincecum will be facing from the Dodgers:

LF Crawford
2B Schumaker
CF Kemp
1B Gonzalez
RF Ethier
SS Cruz
3B Uribe
C A.J. Ellis
P Beckett

The Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin tweeted that this is the first start since Aug. 14 of last year for Juan Uribe, the former Giant. Justin Sellers made a couple of throwing errors at short last night for the Dodgers, including a costly one on Bumgarner's chopper in the seventh that led to two runs scoring.

* The Giants announced earlier today that Brett Pill will be placed on a rehab assignment beginning Thursday at Triple-A Fresno. Pill was placed on the 15-day disabled list to start the season after having surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus.

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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