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June 22, 2013
Bullpen roughed up, Torres exits Giants' 6-3 loss to Marlins

SAN FRANCISCO -- As expected, the first question posed to manager Bruce Bochy after the Giants' 6-3 loss to the Miami Marlins concerned an injured outfielder. But it wasn't about Angel Pagan. Andres Torres injured his right knee diving headfirst into third base in the sixth inning Friday night and had to leave the game, the latest Giants player banged up in what has been a painful last month or so.

Bochy said an X-ray on Torres' knee came back negative and that Torres is day-to-day with a knee contusion. "We'll see how he's doing tomorrow, but we think he's going to be fine in a day or two," Bochy said. Torres said he hit his kneecap hard against the dirt and was "really sore," but also sounded optimistic he could be available tomorrow or the next day.

The news on Pagan sounds less encouraging. Bochy said Pagan re-aggravated a tendon in the hamstring area above his left knee while running to first in a rehab game with Single-A San Jose on Thursday night, and the Giants were "going to talk about our options and what we can do here" with Pagan. One of those options is surgery, Bochy said.

"No question," Bochy said. "It's an option and that's what we'll talk about in the next day or so, figure out what is the best option."

Pagan was at AT&T Park before the game and walking through the Giants' clubhouse without crutches. He declined to talk with reporters.

Bochy said before the game the Giants will continue to "mix and match" in the outfield in Pagan's absence. Gregor Blanco led off in center Friday night and had three singles. He moved to left field after Torres came out of the game, with Juan Perez entering in center.

Torres was hurt trying to leg out a triple leading off the sixth inning in what was at that point a 3-3 game. The ball he hit bounced off the bricks in right field and past Giancarlo Stanton, but Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna tracked down the rebound, spun and made a perfect one-hop throw to third to nail Torres.

Torres said he was surprised to see the ball beat him to the bag.

"I saw one big bounce and decided to keep going," he said. "I did it on my own. I should have stayed, no outs, but that happens, you know?"

Instead of having a runner in scoring position with nobody out, the Giants had nobody on when Tim Lincecum tripled into the right-center field gap two batters later. Of course, there's no guaranteeing Lincecum -- who was at 100 pitches at the time -- would have hit with Torres on second or third. Bochy, for the record, said he didn't fault Torres' trying for third.

"Watching it, like probably Andres saw it, it looked like he was going to make it," Bochy said. "Their center fielder just made a great throw. He's got a great arm and put it right on the money. As he was rounding second it looked like a no-brainer."

* The Giants didn't put another runner on until the ninth. By that time, they were trailing 6-3 following another shaky performance by the bullpen, which allowed three runs in the eighth inning and now has a 4.14 ERA in June.

That's after posting a 2.57 ERA in April and 3.10 mark in May, when the relievers were racking up innings due to short outings by the Giants' starters. It hasn't helped to have Santiago Casilla on the disabled list and George Kontos sent back to Triple-A.

"They've been used a lot," Bochy said of the bullpen.

Bochy turned to rookie Jake Dunning to begin the eighth in a tied game. Dunning got the first out but allowed a single and a hit batter. Javier Lopez came on and struck out Logan Morrison for the second out, but the next three Marlins all singled off Jean Machi to take the 6-3 lead.

Bochy said he thinks the Giants are "OK for tomorrow, but it'd be nice to stay away from a couple guys and give them a break."

A good outing from Barry Zito would work wonders. Lincecum lasted seven innings for the fifth time in 15 starts this season, and acknowledged later the early inconsistencies of the rotation may be showing their effects now on the bullpen.

"They've been so outstanding that it's easy to go to them when the starter struggles," Lincecum said. "I know I've been a culprit to that. So with that it's just about taking it on yourself to go deeper into games, and that's your job as a starter."

* Lincecum allowed five baserunners and struck out eight batters in seven innings Friday and now has a 2.92 ERA in four June starts. He got through seven innings on 106 pitches and said he felt "good out there overall," but was left with the frustration of giving back a lead when he was one strike away from getting out of the sixth with the Giants up 3-1.

Lincecum struck out Stanton swinging on a 93 mph fastball in the first inning and then waving over a changeup in Stanton's next at-bat. He also had no problems legging out the triple in the seventh, an indication that he isn't battling fatigue as in recent seasons.

"I thought he had good stuff," Bochy said. "We just had a hard time getting that last out tonight. That's what killed us."

The Marlins scored four of their five runs with two outs and were 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position. The Giants were 1-for-14 in those situations. That number won't win a lot of games.

* Lincecum's triple was the second of his career and first since 2008. In fact, it was his first extra-base hit since June 7, 2009 -- also off Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco.

* Pablo Sandoval went 1-for-3 with a home run in his first rehab game with Single-A San Jose. Sandoval is expected to be in the lineup again tomorrow.

* It's Barry Zito (4-5, 4.67 ERA) vs. Jacob Turner (1-0, 2.16) Saturday afternoon. Zito has been good at home, but has a 7.17 ERA in three starts in June.

-- 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.
Email: mkawahara@sacbee.com.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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