SAN DIEGO -- Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum became the fourth pitcher in franchise history to strike out at least 200 batters in three consecutive seasons when he slipped a called third strike past San Diego's Yorvit Torrealba in Sunday's second inning.

Hall of Famer Juan Marichal (1963-66) was the last Giant to accomplish this feat. The others performed during the franchise's New York era -- Christy Mathewson (1903-05) and Amos Rusie (1890-93), also Hall of Famers.

Lincecum, who led the National League in strikeouts in each of the previous two seasons, entered Sunday trailing pacesetter Roy Halladay of Philadelphia by two K's. If Lincecum were to lead the league again, he'd join Warren Spahn (1949-52) and Randy Johnson (1999-2002) as the only pitchers since World War II to top the NL in strikeouts for three consecutive years.

Giants lose Torres to appendectomy

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants' lineup absorbed a stunning blow Sunday as center fielder Andres Torres underwent an laproscopic appendectomy that is expected to sideline him from 10 days to two weeks.

Manager Bruce Bochy related that Torres, 32, had experienced discomfort for the last two or three days.

"The pain got so bad this morning that he had to go to the hospital," Bochy said.

Torres had been mired in an extreme hitting slump, batting .106 (5-for-47) with 17 strikeouts in 12 games. That dropped his average from .287 to .269. But Bochy never considered removing the switch-hitting leadoff batter from the lineup. Entering Sunday, Torres still ranked tied for sixth in the National League with 64 extra-base hits -- including 43 doubles, second in the Major Leagues and not far behind Jeff Kent's San Francisco-era record of 49 established in 2001.

With 23 stolen bases, Torres also was the team's most threatening baserunner and had continued to play Gold Glove-level defense.

Faced with the burden of replacing Torres, who had been considered a legitimate candidate to finish in the lower rungs of the NL's Most Valuable Player voting, Bochy responded Sunday by returning Aaron Rowand to the dual center field/leadoff role he occupied when the season began.

Bochy indicated that he and the Giants' braintrust will consider other options, saying that "we'll huddle up" after Sunday's game and on Monday's scheduled off-day to discuss the issue. Another alternative is Cody Ross, whom San Francisco claimed on waivers from Florida on Aug. 23 and has extensive experience playing center field.

"You feel terrible for Andres with the year he's having and the great job he's done," Bochy said. "But these guys need to look at this as a great opportunity and you move on. ... This is a good club with a lot of depth."

Coincidentally, San Diego right-hander Tim Stauffer also underwent a laproscopic appendectomy earlier this year on May 11. He needed 15 days to recover before he was able to throw off a bullpen mound.

Giants opt for bats over gloves in finale

SAN DIEGO -- Manager Bruce Bochy readily admitted that he chose offensive potential over defensive security Sunday in selecting his lineup for the series finale against the San Diego Padres.

With Cy Young Award candidate Mat Latos pitching for San Diego, and due to the Giants' meager total of one run in their previous 21 innings dating to Friday, Bochy started Pat Burrell and Jose Guillen at the outfield corners instead of the nimbler Cody Ross and Nate Schierholtz.

Burrell entered the game with 15 homers and 40 RBIs in 228 at-bats, along with a .376 on-base percentage and a .522 slugging percentage in 78 games as a Giant. Guillen was hitting .295 and recorded San Francisco's lone extra-base hit Saturday, a second-inning double.

"You can go either way," Bochy said. "But when you score one run in the last two days, you want to stay with your bats and hope they get it going."