SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval's return to the starting lineup gave the Giants their first look at what could be the consistent lineup heading toward the last stretch of the season.

Sandoval started at third base in Tuesday's game against the Nationals, with Marco Scutaro shifting from third base to second. The switch-hitting Sandoval batted fifth between righties Buster Posey and Hunter Pence. Scutaro, who had batted everywhere from leadoff to deeper in the order, batted second Tuesday.

"That's going to be pretty close to what we'll have for the most part," manager Bruce Bochy said.

Both Pence and Scutaro were acquired after Sandoval went down July 24 with a strained left hamstring. Bochy had previously said that Scutaro, who had been filling in for the injured Sandoval at third base, would continue to get consistent at-bats somewhere in the infield, but he will get a day off Wednesday with Ryan Theriot getting the start.

Sandoval was activated from the disabled list before Monday's game but was not in the starting lineup.

Penny goes on disabled list with shoulder problem

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants placed Brad Penny on the disabled list Tuesday with a right shoulder impingement and called up Dan Otero from Triple-A Fresno to take his spot on the roster and in the bullpen.

Penny said he felt discomfort prior to his appearance during Monday's game, as well during his two-inning outing in which he allowed six runs in a 14-2 loss to the Nationals.

Otero had made the Giants' Opening Day roster but was optioned to Triple-A on April 27 to make room for Eric Hacker, who was making a spot start for the Giants at that time. Otero rejoins the Giants after going 4-4 with a 2.83 ERA out of Fresno's bullpen.

Penny had experiencd shoulder problems before joining the team on June 29, but both Penny and manager Bruce Bochy said they were unsure whether the shoulder problems are connected.

The longtime starter and two-time All-Star Penny has struggled in his transition into a reliever, holding a 6.86 ERA in 21 innings through 15 appearances for the Giants.

"We just want to give him time to get this cleared up and get right," Bochy said.

Worth noting

• Shane Loux will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno on Wednesday night in Oklahoma City as he recovers from a recurring neck strain.

• Melky Cabrera entered Tuesday six hits away from reaching the 1,000 mark for his career.