LOS ANGELES -- Giants third baseman Mark DeRosa could be headed for his second stint of the season on the disabled list after straining his left wrist in Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Though DeRosa's playing status was initially announced as day to day, manager Bruce Bochy said of the 36-year-old, "It looks like he's going to be out for a while." Bochy added that DeRosa will return to San Francisco on Thursday to be examined by physicians.

DeRosa appeared to hurt himself as he was cocking his bat for Clayton Kershaw's 1-2 pitch, which bounced in the dirt. DeRosa immediately spun out of the batter's box and, in obvious pain, immobilized his left arm by pressing it against his body.

"He said it felt like [Dodgers catcher Rod] Barajas grabbed his bat," Giants outfielder Cody Ross said.

As head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner led him off the field, DeRosa angrily whipped off his batting helmet and flung it down the tunnel leading from the dugout to the clubhouse.

Without DeRosa, the Giants likely will resume using Miguel Tejada at third base and Mike Fontenot at shortstop until injured third baseman Pablo Sandoval returns in late June.

The injury was an ominous one for DeRosa, who has undergone left wrist surgery twice since October 2009. He was sidelined with inflammation in the wrist during late April and was playing his seventh game since being reinstated from the disabled list last Tuesday. DeRosa, who signed a two-year, $12 million contract with San Francisco as a free agent before the 2009 season, has been limited to 44 games as a Giant by his wrist problems.

Given DeRosa's considerable populariity among his teammates, Ross spoke for many Giants in expressing sadness over DeRosa's latest misfortune.

"He's one of my closest friends on the team," Ross said. "To see a guy go down after battling it for the last year or more -- you could tell instantly he was in pain. I just feel bad for him. Hopefully it's not too bad."

DeRosa's batting average had dwindled to .162 (6-for-37) with an 0-for-23 skid, the longest hitless streak of his career.

Knee better, Sanchez back at second base

LOS ANGELES -- The swelling in second baseman Freddy Sanchez's left knee subsided as quickly as it increased, enabling him to rejoin the Giants' lineup for Wednesday night's series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sanchez, 33, believes the inflammation that prevented him from playing Tuesday at Colorado was an aberration. He had missed only two of 40 games before that incident. The fact that the swelling disappeared virtually overnight was a "great sign," he said.

"Something probably irritated it," said Sanchez, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on Sept. 30, 2009, to repair a torn meniscus in that same knee. "But today it's much better. I don't think it's going to be an issue at all."

Sanchez entered Wednesday with a career batting average of .325 at Dodger Stadium, fifth-highest among active players.

Torres sits against Los Angeles left-hander

LOS ANGELES -- Though Andres Torres has been mostly effective at the plate since returning from the disabled list, manager Bruce Bochy didn't think twice about replacing the switch-hitter with Aaron Rowand against Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday.

Batting right-handed has been a challenge for Torres, who's 0-for-8 from that side of the plate this year after hitting .224 right-handed and .284 left-handed last season.

Bochy affirmed that Torres will face some left-handers as the season unfolds. But Bochy also doesn't want to push Torres too hard in the wake of the left Achilles tendon injury that sidelined him for 26 games. Thus, he'll continue to rest Torres occasionally, and this was as good a time as any with Kershaw on the mound for Los Angeles.

"I want to keep his legs fresh and reduce the risk of any injury. Not that there is a high risk," Bochy said.

Starting Rowand in this game instead of Torres, Bochy added, was part of the rotation he outlined in a discussion with the outfielders before this three-city trip began.

Bochy ponders players' postgame safety

LOS ANGELES -- Manager Bruce Bochy put a different spin on the Bryan Stow incident Wednesday, expressing concern for ballplayers' welfare as they leave Dodger Stadium.

Stow is the Giants fan who was beaten at a Dodger Stadium parking lot after the March 31 season opener. He remains in critical condition with skull and brain injuries and recently transferred hospitals from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

"You think about your players as they leave the ballpark," Bochy said. "There is that hanging over your head as you leave the ballpark. You have to be aware that anything could happen."

With $200,000 being offered for information leading to an arrest and the best technology available to authorities, Bochy expressed surprise that no arrests have been made.

"There had to be a number of witnesses," he said.

Though the Giants didn't dwell on the incident, they're universally aware that it's inextricably linked to every Giants-Dodgers game, at least for the near future.

"We understand there are things that are going to change the atmosphere," right-hander Sergio Romo said. "We, as baseball players, still have to play baseball. Obviously, it's a rivalry. ... We don't call it a rivalry so fans can beat up each other. We call it a rivalry so we can show who's the best on the field."