CHICAGO -- Pablo Sandoval's hitting gave the Giants something to savor from Thursday's 5-2, 13-inning loss to the Chicago Cubs.Sandoval extended his consecutive-games streak of collecting an extra-base hit to five by homering in the top of the 13th, giving San Francisco its short-lived 2-1 lead. The switch-hitter obviously is regaining his ability to drive the ball after his fractured right hamate bone and the resulting surgery sidelined him for 40 days. Sandoval, who owns an 11-game hitting streak, has allayed fears that his injury would rob him of his power. "I think he's getting stronger as time goes on," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "And I expect him to get even more aggressive." Sandoval started Thursday at first base. Bochy wanted to rest Aubrey Huff, who played both ends of Tuesday's day-night doubleheader and Wednesday night's entire game. That also explained why Cody Ross took a seat and Pat Burrell started in left field.
Zito named likely starter Saturday vs. Tigers
CHICAGO -- Manager Bruce Bochy named Barry Zito as the probable starting pitcher for Saturday's game at Detroit, though the left-hander will be working on three days' rest, one fewer than usual.Zito looked sharp against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night in his first Major League outing since spraining his right foot in mid-April. He threw 108 pitches while limiting Chicago to two runs and four hits in seven innings in the evening portion of a day-night doubleheader at Wrigley Field. Ryan Vogelsong, who pitched the afternoon game, was less effective than Zito, needing 107 pitches to last five innings while surrendering six runs (three earned) and six hits. Bochy explained that his preference to keep his options open prevented him from finalizing the Zito decision. If Zito pitches Saturday, Vogelsong will start Sunday's series finale on his regular four days' rest. That would set up Tim Lincecum to pitch Monday's July 4 series opener against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park.
Bochy pondering All-Star selections
CHICAGO -- Managing the National League All-Stars is a privilege for Bruce Bochy, but not a preoccupation.Bochy said Thursday, three days before starters and reserves for the July 12 Midsummer Classic will be announced, that he has tried to be prudent while dividing his attention between running the Giants and studying lists of All-Star candidates. For the last few days, Bochy has devoted postgame time to pondering potential All-Stars, with input from Katy Feeney, Major League Baseball's senior vice president who's involved largely with NL matters. Before games, Bochy remains all about the Giants. "I'm not letting [the All-Star Game] be a distraction," Bochy said. Interestingly, Bochy said that he has heard from only one manager who lobbied for a player from his club to be selected.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.