05/16/12 3:23 AM ET
Arias exits after getting hit by pitch
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
Blanco claims Giants' starting right-field spot
SAN FRANCISCO -- Gregor Blanco had started eight of the Giants' previous 12 games entering Tuesday. That ratio is likely to increase.Manager Bruce Bochy said that Blanco, who batted .353 (12-for-34) in his last 11 games, will remain San Francisco's regular right fielder -- at least for the immediate future.
"It's hard to break up that outfield right now," Bochy said, lumping Blanco with left fielder Melky Cabrera and center fielder Angel Pagan.Blanco has been a prototypical leadoff batter. He began Tuesday batting .435 when leading off an inning, seventh-highest in the Major Leagues. Bochy said that he has not considered flip-flopping Blanco with Pagan in the outfield.
"Both spots are important," Bochy said. "This right field is probably the toughest to play of all the positions. It's nice to have two speed guys like that."Bochy said that he has talked to Nate Schierholtz, who began the season as the likely everyday right fielder, about coping with a subordinate role. Bochy reiterated that he'll depend on every player to contribute at one time or another.
"It's going to take 25 guys," he said.
Ripper knows hit-streak record vulnerable
SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval hit safely in the season's first 20 games. Then Angel Pagan sustained a streak that matched the length of Sandoval's. Monday night, Melky Cabrera's 11-game hitting streak dissolved, but that didn't obscure the fact that he ranked among the hottest hitters in the Majors.So Jack Clark senses that somebody will someday eclipse the 26-game hitting streak he built in 1978, which remains the Giants' longest since they moved from New York to San Francisco in 1958. "Oh, eventually it'll be broken. Absolutely," Clark said Tuesday of his record. "If it was up in the mid-30s or something I would think it would last, but I'm surprised it lasted this long. ... I'm very proud to have had it for as long as I've had it and to do it while playing in Candlestick Park, which was a difficult place to play." Clark, who's involved in broadcasting in St. Louis, said that preserving his streak never preoccupied him. For one thing, that happened to be the summer when Cincinnati's Pete Rose hit safely in 44 consecutive games.
"So nobody paid much attention to my streak," Clark said.Also, Clark never tried to flip pitches to the opposite field just to get a single.
"I was trying to hit it out of the park," said Clark, whose all-out hacks earned him the nickname "Jack the Ripper."Clark, who led San Francisco in home runs four times (1978, 1980-82), often sacrificed consistency for power.
"You're counted on to take your shots at a two- or three-run home run early or late in the game. It's not that easy, that's for sure," he said.In that sense, the free-swinging Sandoval reminds Clark of himself. "He lets it fly," Clark said in admiration. "And that's what the fans like. They don't come to see Pablo Sandoval or Jack Clark turn into a Punch-and-Judy hitter. I'd rather not have a hitting streak than be tagged with that, you know?"
Last Friday's Roger Waters concert at AT&T Park created potentially uncomfortable but not dangerous conditions for outfielders. The area where the stage was constructed, which can be plainly seen, looks somewhat worn.
"It's very hard, very compact dirt," said center fielder Angel Pagan, who dove to the surface to catch Todd Helton's sinking liner in Monday's sixth inning.
Fortunately, Pagan added, he didn't notice batted balls taking any bad hops. And even the temporarily hardened turf isn't that much of an inconvenience.
"When you're in a game, it could be concrete and you don't think about what's going to happen. You just want to make a play," Pagan said. Bochy had little to say about Dodgers star Matt Kemp going on the 15-day disabled list with a mild left hamstring strain.
"I don't even pay attention to it, to be honest," Bochy said. "We lost Pablo [Sandoval]; teams lose players."
Besides, Bochy added, the National League West-leading Dodgers remain formidable even without Kemp: "They're a good club. They're solid all around. They're pitching well and catching the ball well." Bochy had mixed feelings about losing left-hander Travis Blackley, whom Oakland claimed off waivers. The Giants designated Blackley for assignment Sunday to clear roster room for left-hander Jeremy Affeldt, who was activated from the disabled list.
"Being selfish, I would have liked to see him stay. But I want him to be in the big leagues, too," Bochy said of Blackley, who surrendered five earned runs and seven hits in five relief innings with the Giants. "It's a break for him. I'm happy for him. I told him exactly that."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.