Alou says Giants are equipped for victory

ARLINGTON -- As a participant in perhaps the Giants' most famous near-miss in World Series history, Felipe Alou expressed confidence Saturday that the current San Francisco club can accomplish what his couldn't.

Alou, who remains associated with the Giants as a special assistant to general manager Brian Sabean, is still haunted by his failed sacrifice-bunt attempt in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1962 World Series. Had Alou gotten the bunt down, his brother, Matty, would have advanced to second base and scored on Willie Mays' subsequent double to tie the score. As it was, the Giants lost, 1-0.

Alou said on Saturday -- before the Giants lost Game 3 to the Rangers, 4-2 -- that after hitting .316 with 25 home runs and 98 RBIs that year, bunting wasn't a fundamental he was prepared to execute. That's not the case, he noted, with this year's Giants.

"That's what this team is all about," said Alou, who's among the club officials on hand for the World Series. "[Manager Bruce] Bochy has them ready to do anything to win a ballgame."

Alou rose through the Giants' system, played on the inaugural San Francisco squad in 1958, spent his first six Major League seasons with the club and managed the team from 2003-06. So he understands what a World Series title would mean to the city and organization.

"Every time you pick up a newspaper, you read that we didn't win it in San Francisco yet," Alou said. "To win for the fans in San Francisco and to be the first group of players in San Francisco to win it, I know that would be something."

Sandoval not a lock to DH past Game 3

ARLINGTON -- Various factors probably will influence whether Pablo Sandoval retains his Game 3 role as the Giants' designated hitter.

Sandoval's performance Saturday obviously is something manager Bruce Bochy will consider.

"As far as [Game 4] tomorrow, we'll see how it goes tonight," Bochy said before the Giants' 4-2 loss to the Rangers, in which Sandoval went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. "He's excited. I know he has been antsy to get out there."

Sandoval's chances of returning as DH for Game 4 may have actually diminished if the Giants had won Game 3. That would have widened San Francisco's Series lead to 3-0, which in turn may have prompted Texas to start ace left-hander Cliff Lee in Game 4 in an effort to avoid a sweep.

Since Sandoval hit .227 right-handed and .282 left-handed during the regular season, Lee would force the switch-hitter to bat from his weaker side. With Lee on the mound, Bochy may have preferred to use right-handed-batting Aaron Rowand or Pat Burrell as the DH.

Ross would have started with Guillen on roster

ARLINGTON -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy insisted Saturday that Cody Ross would have been the team's starting right fielder in the postseason even if Jose Guillen had made the roster.

Bochy has explained that Guillen's sore neck prompted the Giants to leave him off the postseason roster. But the New York Times reported that Major League Baseball advised the Giants to shelve Guillen after he became involved in a probe stemming from shipments of human growth hormone to his wife.

Guillen, obtained from Kansas City for a player to be named (right-hander Kevin Pucetas) on Aug. 13, appeared in 42 of the Giants' final 45 games and started 38 of them. But his physical discomfort limited him to a .266 batting average with three home runs and 15 RBIs -- six of them coming in a Sept. 19 game against Milwaukee. Guillen also compiled a sub-par .692 OPS.

"I thought that when Jose got here, he was swinging the bat well," said Bochy, who believed that Guillen's efforts to play through his injury actually exacerbated it.

Ross, who batted .288 in 33 regular-season games with the Giants after they claimed him off waivers Aug. 22, has emerged as one of the team's top postseason performers. He captured Most Valuable Player honors in the National League Championship Series and is batting .318 with five home runs and 10 RBIs after going 1-for-3 with a solo homer and a walk in Saturday's 4-2 Game 3 loss to the Rangers.

Bochy reiterated that the decision to start Ross was made long before controversy began swirling around Guillen, who has not been seen since the Giants left for Atlanta for Games 3 and 4 of the Division Series.

"It was pretty evident that [Guillen] was doing all he could with treatment on his neck," Bochy said. "Cody Ross would have been out there, even if Jose would have been on the club."