CHICAGO -- The Giants sent center fielder Angel Pagan to Arizona ahead of the rest of the club Wednesday so he could have his stiff back examined as quickly as possible.
Pagan missed his third game in a row with his ailment, which has left him day to day. The Giants, obviously, are concerned about these inactive days accumulating. They know that their offense will be seriously compromised if it must operate for long without Pagan, who's batting a team-high .307 with 11 stolen bases in 14 attempts.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that Pagan, who already has undergone an MRI exam, which revealed inflammation, will undergo further tests in the Phoenix area. Following Thursday's scheduled off-day, the Giants will begin a three-game series against the D-backs.
Lopez's brief tenure in Chicago a learning experience
CHICAGO -- Only Giants left-hander Javier Lopez and his biggest fans probably are aware that he spent half a year in the White Sox organization.
But Lopez's stay with the White Sox, which encompassed the first few months of the 2006 season, was as significant as it was brief.
Lopez received his most extensive activity as a closer with the White Sox Triple-A Charlotte affiliate. He recorded 12 saves and posted a 0.55 ERA in 26 appearances. The White Sox traded Lopez to Boston on June 15 for right-hander David Riske. Lopez proceeded to win a World Series ring with the Red Sox the following season.
"It was a learning experience," Lopez said of his stint with the White Sox, who completed a two-game Interleague series with the Giants on Wednesday. "The stuff that I did then when I warmed up is stuff that I do now. I work on getting the ball down instead of throwing to spots."
Lefty Blanco gets rare pair of hits off of Sale
CHICAGO -- Gregor Blanco joined an exclusive club during the White Sox 7-6 victory over the Giants on Wednesday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Giants leadoff man, who was the only left-handed hitter in the starting lineup against left-hander Chris Sale, knocked out two singles against the White Sox ace. He became just the second left-handed hitter to safely connect off of Sale this season, with the Angels' Josh Hamilton recording two hits on June 7 in Anaheim.
"I wasn't even thinking about it. I treated it like he was another left-hander," said Blanco. "I wasn't trying to do too much. Just see the ball and make contact. I did my job today. It kind of doesn't mean anything because we lost."
For the season, left-handers are 4-for-38 against Sale, with three walks and 17 strikeouts. Sale has yet to allow an extra-base hit to a left-handed hitter.
"Any lefty has an advantage over a lefty," said Sale, who has 75 strikeouts and 10 walks in 65 1/3 innings. "That's why you see matchups in the bullpen all the time, lefty on lefty and righty on righty. I really couldn't pinpoint anything, but hopefully it keeps working out."
"He knows how to get it to his spot, but it might be sinking to get that spot and the next time it's cutting to get there," said White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers of Sale. "I can't imagine how hard it is to hit because sometimes it's hard to catch the ball."
Buster Posey became the inaugural opposing hitter to get a first-inning hit off of Sale this season, with Posey's two-out single ending an 0-for-29 stretch. Over the first two innings this season, the opposition is 5-for-62 against Sale. He had gone six straight starts in which he carried a no-hitter into at least the fourth before Wednesday.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.