8/18/2013 6:11 P.M. ET
Tight back keeps Scutaro out of lineup
By Joe Morgan / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Marco Scutaro was out of the starting lineup Sunday after leaving Saturday's game with a tight lower back. He popped out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning of the Giants' 6-5 loss to the Marlins.
Scutaro is uncertain whether he will be available to start Monday night's game against the Red Sox. The second baseman will see how his back feels once the Giants return to San Francisco.
"It's fine," Scutaro said of his back. "I have to wait for the six-hour flight. It might be there."
Gregor Blanco batted leadoff Sunday in place of Scutaro, who is hitting .250 (11-for-44) with six runs scored since moving to the top spot in the order Aug. 5.
Joaquin Arias manned second base and batted eighth Sunday.
Scutaro is batting .303 with two home runs, 23 RBIs, 20 doubles and 49 runs scored in 106 games.
Brother's cooking helps Sandoval slim down
MIAMI -- An extra spring in Pablo Sandoval's step helped the Giants defeat the Marlins, 6-4, on Saturday night. Sandoval, who has shed 22 pounds in the past six weeks, beat out a grounder to first base to plate the first of four two-out runs in the fourth.
"That probably won the game for us, kept the rally going," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "... He's doing all he can to beat [Miami first baseman Logan Morrison ] to the bag, and that hustle there won the game."
Twenty-two pounds ago, Sandoval said there's "no way" he reaches base safely on that pivotal play.
The Giants have more than one Sandoval to thank for Saturday night's victory. Sandoval credited his recent weight loss to the culinary talents of his older brother, Luis.
Luis Sandoval, 36, is Pablo Sandoval's full-time chef and travels with the 2012 World Series MVP. The eldest Sandoval brother recently graduated from a culinary institute in Miami -- the site where the benefits of the third baseman's new diet have begun to appear.
Pablo Sandoval plans to let Luis also cook for him during the offseason. When asked which dish his brother cooks that he enjoys the most, Sandoval responded, "Everything, man."
Weight problems have plagued Sandoval throughout his MLB career. Currently in the midst of his worst statistical season to date, the two-time All-Star has ample reason to continue with the successful diet cooked to order by his brother.
Sandoval previously made significant progress by losing 38 pounds during the 2010-11 offseason, but he failed to keep the weight off as time wore on. He hopes his new regimen will be enough to get him back into ideal shape.
"It's going to be important for me if I can come to camp in the same shape as I did in 2011," Sandoval said. "…I'm just going to keep working hard for the next season. It's important for me and my teammates, too."
Fortunately for Sandoval, his eldest brother chose to pursue cooking instead of professional baseball like the other Sandoval brother, Michael. However, Sandoval joked that Luis did not have much choice when it came to picking another pursuit instead of baseball.
"He never played baseball," Sandoval said of Luis, laughing. "He was real bad."
Pagan set to move rehab up to Triple-A
MIAMI -- San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy expects outfielder Angel Pagan to return to the Majors on Sept. 1. After success in the first two games of a rehab stint with the Arizona League Giants, Pagan could join Triple-A Fresno "in a few days."
"He felt good," Bochy said. "No issues there, so [he will] continue his schedule."
Pagan finished 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored in the second game of his rehab assignment Saturday. He was limited to five innings after playing only three and finishing 0-for-1 with a walk Friday.
Pagan underwent surgery to repair a tendon on the inside edge of his left knee June 25. He has not played in the Majors since May 25 and aggravated his injury while running to first in a rehab game with Class A San Jose on June 20.
The switch-hitter was batting .262 with three home runs, 24 RBIs and 30 runs scored when he went down. He is in the first year of a four-year, $40 million contract.
As expected, Posey sits in finale vs. Marlins
MIAMI -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy decided to give catcher Buster Posey his second game off in three days Sunday afternoon. He previously discussed the possibility prior to Friday's game against the Marlins.
Bochy wanted to sit Posey before the Giants return to San Francisco to face the Red Sox in a three-game series beginning Monday. The skipper hopes to keep the All-Star catcher fresh during the club's current stretch of 16 games in 16 straight days.
"We're in August, and it's a good time to give him a little bigger break," Bochy said.
Posey, who entered Sunday batting .319 (37-for-116) against left-handers, will be a key bat against Boston southpaws Jon Lester on Monday and Felix Doubront on Wednesday.
Giants not named Posey entered Sunday batting .247 (276-for-1,118) against lefties, a clip that ranks below the MLB average of .250.
"I want Buster out there," Bochy said of Monday's game. "We are facing a left-hander."
Backup catcher Hector Sanchez made Bochy's decision to spell Posey easier. Sanchez has shown some pop with his bat in recent days, hitting home runs in each of his past two games.
Sanchez hit a game-winning three-run shot in a pinch-hit appearance with two outs in the ninth against the Nationals on Thursday. One day later, he hit another three-run home run in the Giants' 14-10 win against the Marlins.
His recent power display has encouraged Bochy. Sanchez entered Thursday's game batting .213 (10-for-47) with only three RBIs and two runs scored.
"Hector's playing well," Bochy said. "He's swinging the bat well. ... Two three-run homers, that helps get you back in the lineup a little quicker."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.