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05/12/09 4:06 AM ET

Giants to stick with Burriss up top

San Francisco (17-14) vs. Washington (10-20), 7:15 p.m. PT

SAN FRANCISCO -- Fresh off banging out a career-high four hits Sunday against the rival Dodgers to cap a seven-game road trip on which he batted .481 (13-for-27), Giants second baseman Emmanuel Burriss got a promotion Monday.

Having spent most of the season batting seventh or eighth, Burriss was bumped up to the top of the order for the first time this year, and it's not a temporary move made in an effort to play the hot hand.

According to San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, Burriss will be in the leadoff spot "for a while," including Tuesday, when the Giants host the Nationals in the second game of a three-game series at AT&T Park.

"I really wasn't expecting it," Burriss said. "When things are going good, you kind of expect them to stay the same."

Aside from where he's batting in the lineup, Bochy doesn't want Burriss to change a thing.

"'Manny, keep doing what you're doing,'" Bochy said he told Burriss. "He can bunt, he can steal a base. He can do some things you want your leadoff man to do."

Burriss, 24, made his big league debut last season and got one start in the leadoff spot, going 2-for-5. Monday was his 2009 debut batting first, and he earned it by raising his batting average from .157 to .287 on the aforementioned road trip.

"I did it all the time in the Minors," he said. "As far as my approach, I'm not going to change anything from what I've been doing lately. Earlier in the year, I was chasing a lot of pitches and not seeing the ball well, so [hitting coach] Carney [Lansford] and I have been talking about letting the ball get deeper so I can see it better.

"I'm going to keep everything the same."

Pitching matchup
SF: RHP Matt Cain (3-1, 2.61 ERA)
All but one of Cain's six outings have been quality starts. Last Thursday at Colorado, he walked four of the first six batters he faced but settled down and lasted six innings, allowing one hit. It marked the ninth time in Cain's career -- including starts of varying lengths -- that he had yielded just one hit. Cain pitched one of his best games against Washington last July 24, when he spun a four-hit shutout in a 1-0 Giants triumph. He's 3-2 with a 2.36 ERA in six lifetime outings against the Nationals.

WSH: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 5.48 ERA)
Zimmermann started the game Thursday for Washington and had serious problems in the first inning against the Dodgers. After striking out leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal, Zimmermann couldn't get the next six hitters out. The first run scored on an RBI single by James Loney. Four batters later, Matt Kemp hit a grand slam over the right-center-field wall. Casey Blake followed and hit what looked like a routine fly ball to right-center field, but center fielder Elijah Dukes and right fielder Adam Dunn did not communicate on who was catching the ball, which dropped in for a triple. Dunn said that a fan in the stands called for the ball, and Dunn and Dukes thought the other called for the ball. Blake then scored on a sacrifice fly by Dodgers starter Randy Wolf. After that, Zimmermann retired the next nine hitters he faced. He went on to pitch six innings and give up six runs.

Left fielder Fred Lewis, who batted .231 (6-for-26) on the road trip, was dropped from the leadoff spot to seventh. "We're just going to lighten it up for Freddy a little bit by dropping him down and see if that helps," Bochy said. ... Cain, whose lack of run support was a major storyline in 2007 and 2008, isn't the hard-luck kid anymore. He's getting an average of 5.92 runs per nine innings this year. Before Monday's game, Cain smiled and said, "It's nice not having to answer questions about it anymore." ... You could put together a heck of a company softball team anchored by the former Giants in the clubhouse Monday: Will Clark, J.T. Snow, Shawon Dunston, Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper. Dunston, a part-time special instructor who lives in the Bay Area, was ebullient as ever, bringing smiles to nearly every face he encountered with friendly rapid-fire barbs and compliments.

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Up next
• Wednesday: Giants (Barry Zito, 1-2, 3.57) vs. Nationals (Shairon Martis, 4-0, 4.67), 12:45 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Giants (Jonathan Sanchez, 1-3, 4.78) vs. Mets (John Maine, 3-2, 4.54), 7:15 p.m. PT
• Friday: Giants (Tim Lincecum, 3-1, 3.25) vs. Mets (Livan Hernandez, 3-1, 5.08), 7:15 p.m. PT

Mychael Urban is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.