LOS ANGELES -- The Giants will recognize the efforts of Connie Bennett, this year's recipient of the club's Honorary Bat Girl distinction, before Thursday's game against St. Louis at AT&T Park.The Honorary Bat Girl program singles out fans who have been affected by breast cancer and maintain a commitment to fighting the disease. Bennett was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer two years ago. She underwent a double mastectomy and has since undergone several reconstructive surgeries. Bennett is among the top fundraisers for the California Oncology Group, to which she donates proceeds from bake sales and Bunco parties. Bennett also purchases gift cards for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments who cannot afford food, gas or medication. The Honorary Bat Girl Contest was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative celebrated on Mother's Day. In 2006, Major League Baseball created the Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer program. Giants left-hander Barry Zito served on the panel of 30 players who helped select team-by-team winners.
Pagan fine, but gets night off vs. Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- Though Angel Pagan felt good enough to play Wednesday, manager Bruce Bochy held the center fielder out of the starting lineup for the series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers.Pagan sustained a cramp in his left hamstring while beating out an eight-inning infield single Tuesday night. Bochy reasoned that resting Pagan on Wednesday would essentially give him a two-day break, combined with Thursday's scheduled off-day. "He could play today," Bochy acknowledged. But, Bochy added, "He's been grinding pretty hard."
Pagan, who has started 28 of the Giants' 31 games this season, accepted Bochy's decision.
"When they give you a day off, you have to take it," he said. "You have to be smart in those situations and know when to back off."Gregor Blanco replaced Pagan atop the batting order and in center field.
Rehabbing Sanchez sees time at third base
LOS ANGELES -- The Giants continued experimenting with erstwhile second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who played seven innings at third base in an extended spring training game Wednesday in Arizona.It would seem unlikely that Sanchez, who has struggled to make the throw on the double-play pivot, could fire a long throw to first base with sufficient strength.
"We'll continue to evaluate how he looks," Bochy said of Sanchez, who hasn't played third since 2006, when he won the National League batting title with Pittsburgh.Sanchez was removed from his Minor League injury rehabilitation stint last week when he experienced a physical setback with his surgically repaired right shoulder. Sanchez, 34, dislocated the shoulder in a June 10 game against Cincinnati.
Bochy liked what he saw from Brandon Belt at the plate against Los Angeles left-hander Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday. Yet the manager wouldn't commit himself to using the left-handed-batting Belt in the upcoming Arizona series against another pair of lefty starters, Patrick Corbin on Friday and Joe Saunders on Sunday.
"I thought he threw out some pretty good at-bats," Bochy said of Belt, who was 0-for-2 with a walk against Kershaw. One of Belt's outs was a fly to the right-field warning track.
Nevertheless, Bochy indicated that he still might employ a lineup in those games that includes switch-hitting Hector Sanchez behind the plate and right-handers Buster Posey and Brett Pill at first base and left field, respectively. The Giants' four double plays Tuesday night matched their largest output since May 7, 2008 at Pittsburgh.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.