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05/27/10 4:30 PM ET

Medders on track for June 4 return

Injured Giants reliever feels good after bullpen session

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants reliever Brandon Medders threw off a mound on Wednesday for the first time since going on the disabled list with inflammation in his right knee, and a day later, he said his knee is improving.

Medders, who underwent surgery on his knee on Oct. 5, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 20 after experiencing discomfort. In 14 appearances this season, the right-hander had posted a 7.20 ERA, an inflated figure thanks to a one-inning, six-run outing on May 19 against Arizona.

On Thursday, Medders said he planned on throwing another bullpen session on Friday before the Giants open a three-game set against the D-backs.

Medders said he expects to be full-go by June 4, the day he's eligible to come off the DL.

"Absolutely," Medders said of the timetable. "It's looking that way now."

Bochy wants struggling Lincecum to relax

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy held a closed-door meeting with two-time reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum on Thursday to talk with the right-hander about his recent struggles.

Although Bochy wouldn't go into detail about what he and Lincecum talked about, Bochy said he stressed to his young ace to relax and not put too much pressure on himself.

"Everything is fine. Like everybody in this game, you're going to have some hiccups, and he's a little hard on himself at times and he's a little frustrated," Bochy said. "He hasn't pitched like he's accustomed to. He's going through a couple tough starts, and all great pitchers do."

Lincecum (5-1, 3.00 ERA) lost on Wednesday night for the first time this season -- and first time in his career in May -- in a 7-3 setback to Washington. He allowed six runs on six hits, and also walked five and hit one batter.

Lincecum entered his May 15 start against Houston with a 1.76 ERA, but struggled mightily in his next two outings. On May 20 against the D-backs, Lincecum lasted only five innings, allowing five runs before turning in only 4 2/3 innings on Wednesday.

Wednesday was the third straight outing in which Lincecum walked at least five batters and also marked the first time since June 13 and 19 of 2007 that he gave up five or more runs in back-to-back starts.

Improving Affeldt still sidelined

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeremy Affeldt's left hamstring is improving, but the Giants' left-handed reliever said on Thursday that his return still is day-to-day.

Affeldt sprained his hamstring on Sunday against the A's in the eighth inning while trying to field a sacrifice bunt by Daric Barton, who led off the inning. Affeldt faced two more batters before leaving the game.

Affeldt threw from 90 feet on Wednesday to keep his arm fresh, but he did not plan on running or jogging on Thursday due to the cold, rainy conditions at AT&T Park. Affeldt, who is 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 17 appearances, said his next step is to throw a light bullpen session on Friday and go from there.

"If that goes well, who knows what's next?" Affeldt said. "Maybe I could be ready to take the mound again soon."

Giants call up Joaquin to reinforce 'pen

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants called up right-handed reliever Waldis Joaquin from Triple-A Fresno on Thursday to ensure they had a fully staffed bullpen for the next few games.

As part of the transaction, infielder Matt Downs was optioned to Fresno.

"With [left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt] not being available, we need another arm up here to cover ourselves," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Matt Downs did a nice job up here, but he goes back to get some playing time."

Joaquin was part of the Giants' Opening Day roster, posting a 9.64 ERA in four appearances.

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