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07/20/08 10:35 PM ET

Lewis fighting through foot problem

San Francisco (40-58) vs. Washington (38-61), Tue., 7:15 PT

SAN FRANCISCO -- Because Fred Lewis is such a speedster, the bunion on his foot probably plagues him more than it would most players.

The pain was evident in Saturday's game against the Brewers when he was racing home from second slower than usual. Manager Bruce Bochy further illuminated the problem when he held Lewis out of Sunday's game -- the outfielder had played in 94 of the Giants' first 97 contests.

"This is going to be with him the rest of the year," Bochy said. "He's going to need his time off."

Thus, not playing Sunday or Monday (a Giants off-day) likely will help rejuvenate Lewis for San Francisco's three-game home series against the Nationals beginning Tuesday.

All year, Lewis has been a sparkplug for the team. He's batting .274, has a .443 slugging percentage and has stolen 17 bases. His average, though, has dropped 12 points since July 6, a period in which he's got just two extra-base hits and 12 strikeouts in 36 plate appearances.

The Giants can't pin their recent woes on him, but they'd love for him to provide a boost. After losing nine of their past 10 games, the Giants sit a season-high 18 games under .500.

Lewis could have the bunion surgically removed, but Bochy called that a "last option." For now, the club will try treating the problem with specialized shoes and other training equipment. Bochy said surgery would sideline Lewis for "close to eight months. ... We're going to try some different things."

When Dave Roberts is activated -- which Bochy said might happen Tuesday, a day earlier than expected -- he could split starts with Lewis for the rest of the season.

Since knee surgery in early April, Roberts has been slowly rehabbing to full strength. His comeback is arriving at the perfect time.

Pitching matchup
SF: LHP Barry Zito (4-12, 5.62 ERA)
Zito technically didn't record a quality start when he faced Washington on June 8, but he still recorded a victory on a sweltering afternoon, interrupting his season-opening skid of nine losses in 10 decisions. Zito worked five innings that day, surrendering three runs and seven hits while walking four and striking out two. Zito trailed 3-0 in that game before the Giants rallied for four runs in the fifth.

WSH: RHP Jason Bergmann (1-6, 4.03 ERA)
Bergmann pitched nearly lights-out for seven innings Thursday against Arizona. The right-hander didn't even allow a hit until the fourth, and he surrendered just two runs over the outing. He struck out three in his fifth straight quality start but picked up a no-decision, as the Nationals fell, 7-5, in the 11th after rallying from two down in the ninth and three down in the 10th.

Before Sunday's game, Bengie Molina had been hitless in his previous 13 at-bats. His average had dropped 29 points in the past 14 games. But against the Brewers, on his 34th birthday, he singled and walked. ... Former Giants manager Roger Craig threw out the honorary first pitch Sunday. It was "Humm Baby" Day at the park, celebrating the Giants' seasons under Craig in the 1980s. In 1986, with a youth-infused roster, Craig led the team to an 83-79 record after it went 62-100 the year before. In 1987, the Giants won the National League West, going 90-72. ... The Giants have nine games remaining against NL Central teams this year, none of which they're likely looking forward to. Against NL Central teams this season, San Francisco is 9-21; the club is 31-37 against everyone else.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
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Up next
• Wednesday: Giants (Kevin Correia, 1-5, 5.81) vs. Nationals (Collin Balester, 1-2, 5.87), 7:15 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Giants (Matt Cain, 5-8, 4.08) vs. Nationals (Tim Redding, 7-4, 4.17), 12:45 p.m. PT
• Friday: Giants (Jonathan Sanchez, 8-5, 4.10) vs. Diamondbacks (Dan Haren, 9-5, 2.58), 7:15 p.m. PT

David Biderman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.