9/29/2013 9:15 P.M. ET
After stellar season, Lopez hopes to return to Giants
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- With Hunter Pence signed and contract talks regarding Tim Lincecum having begun, the Giants' timetable for a deal with potential free agent Javier Lopez could be accelerated.
General manager Brian Sabean stated that he wants to retain Lopez, who quietly has solidified himself as one of the Major Leagues' top left-handed relievers.
"He's very key to our bullpen in his flexibility," Sabean said of Lopez, who earned $4.25 million this year.
Entering Sunday, Lopez had inherited 57 baserunners, the National League's third-highest total. Yet only six of them had scored. That's 10.5 percent, best in the league.
Lopez finished with a team-high 69 appearances. He was unscored upon in all but seven of them. His 1.068 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) was the best of his 11-year career.
Left-handed batters hit .156 this year (14-for-90) off Lopez, 36. He was more effective in this area as the season progressed, as he limited lefties to three hits in their last 34 at-bats against him -- an .088 batting average.
Blanco, Crawford leave finale early with injuries
SAN FRANCISCO -- Plagued by injuries all season, the Giants were forced to remove two more players from Sunday's season finale against the San Diego Padres as outfielder Gregor Blanco sprained his right ankle and shortstop Brandon Crawford pulled a muscle in his right side.
X-rays taken of Blanco's ankle showed no fracture. He's expected to undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the injury's extent.
Blanco, 29, was hurt when he and center fielder Angel Pagan collided as they pursued pinch-hitter Will Venable's ninth-inning drive to left-center field. Though their collision wasn't head-on, Blanco received the worst of it as Pagan dove to try to avoid contact and inadvertently administered Blanco the equivalent of a cross-body block. Blanco tumbled over Pagan and remained on the grass for several minutes until he rose and was helped off the field by members of the athletic training staff who flanked him.
Crawford said he felt a tightening sensation in his oblique during his initial at-bat in the second inning of the 7-6 victory over the Padres. The feeling grew more extreme on the first swing of his second at-bat in the fourth inning. Ehire Adrianza replaced Crawford one inning later.
Crawford, 26, said he's scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday.
"I've got plenty of time to rest it," he said jokingly.
Ticket sales, FanFest to keep Giants faithful occupied
SAN FRANCISCO -- Fans already anticipating what 2014 will offer might want to circle certain dates on their calendars.
On Nov. 29, which the Giants have dubbed "Orange and Black Friday," single-game tickets for selected games will go on sale, as well as Holiday 6-pack offerings.
The ever-popular FanFest is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 1.
The Giants open the regular season at Arizona on Monday, March 31. The AT&T Park home opener, also against Arizona, is set for Tuesday, April 8.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.