Castillo getting opportunities at second
San Francisco (44-62) at Los Angeles (53-53), Wed., 7:10 PT
LOS ANGELES -- Don't be surprised if Jose Castillo starts his third game in a row at second base in Wednesday's series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers.Manager Bruce Bochy indicated Tuesday that Castillo, who has started 83 games at third base, is receiving a chance to prove himself at second, where he was a regular for Pittsburgh from 2004-06. "We want to take somewhat of a look at him," Bochy said. Castillo, who has started five games at second this year, committed an error Monday night on James Loney's grounder that launched a five-run fifth inning for Los Angeles. But Tuesday, Castillo made a nice play to his left on a similar grounder hit by Juan Pierre and recorded the out to open the Dodgers' first. Entering Tuesday, Castillo had accelerated his offensive pace, batting .323 (10-for-31) in his previous eight games. Castillo's 37 extra-base hits, including 27 doubles, were tied for second-most on the team.
"I like the way he swings the bat," Bochy said.Recently, Bochy had stated that Eugenio Velez would receive the bulk of the playing time at second, with Ivan Ochoa and Emmanuel Burriss filling in. But playing time for those three rookies could increase after Thursday's Trade Deadline -- if veteran Rich Aurilia, who apparently has been showcased at third base, sits more often and Castillo returns to third, vacating second base for one of the youngsters. Pitching matchup
SF: LHP Jonathan Sanchez (8-6, 4.46 ERA)
In the second inning of his last start, Sanchez allowed more runs (five) than he previously surrendered in any game since June 12. Following a quick first frame, he walked two and gave up a single and three doubles in the second. He was pulled in the third after throwing 81 pitches (46 strikes). Sanchez's breaking ball wasn't breaking and he tallied just two strikeouts. LAD: RHP Chad Billingsley (10-9, 3.26 ERA)
Billingsley provided a much-needed quality start for his club Friday, surrendering just two runs on five hits and three walks, while notching four strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings against the Nationals. Billingsley is 2-0 with a 5.32 ERA in seven career appearances, including four starts, against San Francisco. Tidbits
Due to a relative lack of save opportunities, closer Brian Wilson has appeared on back-to-back days only 10 times this season and just twice on three consecutive days. But Wilson's rigorous workout regimen leaves Bochy certain that the right-hander could handle more frequent use if necessary. "He's a strong man. He's resilient," Bochy said. Entering Tuesday, Wilson had made three scoreless appearances in a row after allowing runs in five of his previous six outings. ... Right-hander Billy Sadler, who posted a 4.94 ERA during a 19-game stint earlier this season with the Giants, has trimmed his ERA with Triple-A Fresno to 0.93. ... Giants shortstops have not hit a home run this season. ... The Giants own an 8-8 record on Wednesdays. Tickets
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Friday: Giants (Tim Lincecum, 11-3, 2.78) at Padres (Jake Peavy, 8-6, 2.67), 7:05 p.m. PT
Saturday: Giants (Barry Zito, 5-13, 5.80) at Padres (Greg Maddux, 4-8, 4.29), 7:05 p.m. PT
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.