SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the decision to option Hector Sanchez to Triple-A today was made largely to get Sanchez more game action than he saw during the first month of the season with the Giants. Sanchez missed a lot of spring training with shoulder and calf injuries and had just 23 plate appearances this season.
"Sanchez needs to play," Bochy said. "He hasn't been playing much here so we want to get him going, get some at-bats down there, pinch-hit here and there, get him going."
Bochy said Francisco Peguero, who was recalled from Triple-A Fresno, gives the Giants flexibility as a speed guy and another right-handed bat in the outfield. Peguero is hitting .415 in Fresno (27-for-65) and got the call over Brett Pill, who's also off to a good start (.367, 6 homers, 30 RBIs in 23 games).
"We just felt (Peguero) gives us a little more flexibility right now," Bochy said.
Bochy said Peguero's playing time will depend largely on Andres Torres' play against left-handed pitchers, "but we'll try to get him out there." Peguero hit .328 in spring training and has clearly carried that success at the plate over into the season. Bochy said Peguero seemed to have "more discipline, quieter at the plate," in spring than during his late-season call-up last year.
Peguero said his hot start is out of the ordinary -- normally he starts slow at the plate and picks up during the course of the season. He said he "feels more aggressive at the plate now. I'm seeing better pitches now to hit, and the breaking ball, which in the past I've had a problem with, now I'm looking out for it and I'm hitting it well."
The Giants will have another personnel move coming up when Jose Mijares returns from the bereavement list, which Bochy said will likely happen Monday. Bochy said there's a possibility the Giants could carry 13 pitchers for a while if they decide they don't want to part with Jean Machi, who has thrown 8 1/3 scoreless innings since being called up from Fresno on April 17.
"If we did that, then you'd see how it goes for a while," Bochy said. "If you're missing that (position) player, you've got to make a change. But we have been using the bullpen quite a bit. Our starters have been a little off and on, so that would play a part in what we would do -- how well they're going."
* Bochy confirmed he just wanted to get Brandon Crawford a day off today. That it comes against Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, he said, is a coincidence.
"With Kershaw, it doesn't matter who we put out there," Bochy said. "Their numbers aren't any better."
Kershaw has allowed a total of 18 earned runs in 127 career innings against the Giants for an ERA of 1.28. Angel Pagan (8-for-26) and Pablo Sandoval (10-for-33) have had decent success against Kershaw. Not so much for Brandon Belt (3-for-24), Hunter Pence (1-for-26), Buster Posey (6-for-36, 10 strikeouts) and Torres (2-for-25). No current Giants hitter has ever homered off Kershaw, who has a 0.66 ERA at AT&T Park.
"I don't think it matters what ballpark he pitches in," Bochy said. "I don't think he needs to adjust to that. He has such great stuff, he's got four pitches and command. It's a case where you're facing a guy who throws really hard with good movement and command, and you know you have your work cut out.
"What you're hoping is that you guy's on and keeps it close, because you don't expect to score a lot of runs."
Kershaw is returning tonight from the bereavement list after the death of his father. Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said that while "obviously this isn't just any situation," Kershaw's focus isn't easily shaken and he doesn't anticipate having to keep a closer eye than normal on the left-hander's mental state.
* The Dodgers made a lineup change, scratching Adrian Gonzalez (neck). Their updated lineup looks like this:
Schumaker wasn't in the original lineup, but this could work out OK for the Dodgers. He is 7-for-16 (.438) in his career against Giants starter Barry Zito.
-- Matt Kawahara