SAN DIEGO -- Though Bruce Bochy still envisions Gregor Blanco as the Giants' primary left fielder, the manager started Justin Christian in left field for the second straight game Sunday to give him a chance to prove himself.Christian went 0-for-4 Saturday and extended his hitting skid to 1-for-28. But with the Giants facing a preponderance of left-handed starters -- San Diego's Clayton Richard on Sunday, Los Angeles' Clayton Kershaw on Monday and the Dodgers' Chris Capuano on Wednesday -- Bochy wants to determine whether Christian is capable of contributing. Despite being a right-handed batter, Christian entered Sunday batting .120 (3-for-25) off lefties. "It's such a small sample size with Justin," Bochy said. "I believe in guys getting another chance. I just want to give him another start to see if he can get settled in." Meanwhile, Bochy insisted that there was no extra significance attached to Gary Brown's appearance in left field Saturday for Double-A Richmond. Brown, ranked by MLB.com as the Giants' top prospect, has played center field. General manager Brian Sabean indicated last week that Brown will not receive a September promotion to San Francisco. "We like to keep these guys flexible," Bochy said, noting that outfielders such as Blanco and Angel Pagan can play multiple spots. "We just want to take a look at it."
Giants sticking with closer committee
SAN DIEGO -- Though Santiago Casilla looked sharp in a brief appearance Saturday, manager Bruce Bochy does not plan to return the deposed closer to his former role."We're still going to do it by committee," Bochy said Sunday. "But I was encouraged with what I saw." What he saw was Casilla retire the only two batters he faced to finish the seventh inning and preserve a 7-5 lead. The closer-by-committee issue hasn't created much of a fuss for the Giants, whose unusual number of lopsided victories recently have resulted in relatively few save opportunities. "It's nice to have four or five guys who have experience throwing late," Bochy said. One of them, Clay Hensley, struck out Mark Kotsay to earn Saturday's save. Hensley said that San Francisco's relievers have adjusted to the lack of ironclad responsibilities. "I think we've kind of thrown the whole role thing out the window," Hensley said. "If they want us to come in the fourth inning and throw up a zero, then you have to try to go out there with the same aggressiveness as if you were coming in the ninth inning to finish games. I think everybody from the fourth inning on starts to get prepared to get ready to pitch."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.