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05/09/10 7:54 PM ET

Molina rests tight hamstring in finale

NEW YORK -- The Giants and Bengie Molina remained cautious about his tight left hamstring, as the catcher stayed out of the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the New York Mets.

Hoping to try to play, Molina tested his leg before the game by taking batting practice and running gingerly. He then decided to sit out rather than risk aggravating his injury. Molina was idle for most of this series: He pinch-hit Friday and played two innings Saturday before leaving the game.

Molina, who has started 22 of San Francisco's 30 games, didn't feel compelled to overextend himself to play, though he typically catches Tim Lincecum, Sunday's starter.

"We're in good hands," Molina said, referring to backup catcher Eli Whiteside.

Whiteside, who compiled a .244 average in nine Minor League seasons before batting .228 in 49 games with the Giants last year, entered Sunday hitting .385 in 12 games.

"Some guys figure it out later [in their careers], manager Bruce Bochy said. "They improve and make adjustments. He has really started to swing the bat with more authority and drive the ball."

Wind plays tricks with Giants

NEW YORK -- The Giants were blown away, figuratively and almost literally, by the elements they encountered Sunday at Citi Field.

Gusts that occasionally approached 40 mph affected several batted balls, including Jason Bay's bases-loaded, two-run single in the seventh inning. Andres Torres charged from medium-deep left field and dove for the ball but barely missed it. Bay's hit helped the Mets score three runs and take the lead, though the Giants ultimately prevailed, 6-5.

"The ball kept going in, in," Torres said. "It was amazing."

Aaron Rowand's two-run homer in the eighth inning seemed equally stunning, since it sliced through the wind over the right-center-field wall.

"That's as hard as I can hit a ball that way," Rowand said. "And I honestly thought it was going to be caught."

That wasn't Rowand's last encounter with the wind. Leading off the Mets' ninth inning, Bay hit another pop fly that Rowand said would have been a routine play under normal circumstances. But it fell for a double in shallow center field as Rowand and shortstop Juan Uribe converged on the ball.

"I took a jab step back and started busting in and I couldn't get to it," Rowand said. "It was an in-between kind of ball. Either I lay out and try to catch it, and risk diving into Uribe, or Uribe keeps running and risks running into me. It's one of those that as an outfielder and a middle infielder, you hate to see because that's when ugly things happen. With the wind and everything else, it makes it that much tougher. Luckily nobody got hurt and luckily we ended up winning the game."

Sandoval gets start at first base

NEW YORK -- To nobody's great surprise, Pablo Sandoval remained in the Giants' lineup Sunday, though he moved across the diamond to start at first base.

Manager Bruce Bochy and his staff have discussed whether Sandoval, the only Giant to start all 30 games, might need a break. Sandoval was 3-for-32 at the plate in May entering Sunday, dropping his batting average below .300.

But, Bochy said, "He's young [23]. It's not like we're in hot weather." Indeed, gametime temperature at Citi Field was a brisk 53 degrees.

Moreover, with catcher Bengie Molina and first baseman Aubrey Huff resting, Bochy wanted Sandoval's formidable presence in the lineup.

"We need him right now," Bochy said.

With Sandoval at first base, where he played 26 games last year, Ryan Rohlinger, summoned from Triple-A Fresno on Friday, occupied third. That gave the Giants an additional right-handed bat in the lineup against Mets left-hander Oliver Perez.

Medders bounces back with strong outing

NEW YORK -- Among the more promising developments for the Giants over the weekend was Brandon Medders' performance Saturday.

Medders relieved starter Todd Wellemeyer and contributed 2 2/3 scoreless innings, helping set up the Giants' comeback from a 4-2 deficit. It was Medders' first appearance since last Sunday, when he retired none of the four Colorado batters he faced.

"You can see that he got more comfortable the longer he was out there and got in a good groove," manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday. "He had better location on all his pitches."

With the bullpen still striving to establish overall consistency, the Giants would welcome seeing Medders regain the form he showed last year, when he was 5-1 with a 3.01 ERA in 61 games.

Medders has endured an uneven season, posting an 8.44 ERA while allowing 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings spanning his first five outings. He followed that stretch by pitching scoreless innings in three consecutive outings, a streak broken by the Colorado game.

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