6/20/2014 8:26 P.M. ET
Giants hoping to get Pagan back in Arizona
By Adam Lichtenstein / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Angel Pagan arrived in Phoenix before the rest of his teammates, and he is looking to be back in the Giants' lineup before they leave.
Pagan was out of the lineup Friday for the fourth straight game for the Giants' series opener against the D-backs at Chase Field, but manager Bruce Bochy said Pagan could play Saturday.
"He'll take some fly balls, he's going to take some [batting practice]," Bochy said before Friday's game. "Then we'll see where he's at. If all's good, then there's a good chance he'll play tomorrow."
Pagan has been dealing with lower back stiffness, and being out of the lineup has hurt the Giants.
The Giants are in the midst of a 2-8 stretch, and Pagan has been one of their most important hitters.
With Pagan out, outfielders Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez have been playing in his place. They're hitting .208 (5-for-24) in the three games Pagan has been out.
Pagan, on the other hand, has been a key tablesetter. He's hitting .314 in 58 games in the leadoff spot this season and has 11 stolen bases.
"Life was tough without him last year," Bochy said. "We're struggling a little bit right now, but that's going to happen."
Scutaro's back better, may start rehab stint soon
PHOENIX -- Marco Scutaro hasn't appeared in a game for the Giants since Sept. 15, but that may change sooner rather than later.
Scutaro has been on the disabled list since the season began with a strained back, but he said Friday that he has been feeling better.
"Right now, I'm pretty much back to where I was in Spring Training when I got better," Scutaro said.
"I'm just going to try to get ready and go like this and play when my back lets me, and when it won't let me, [I'll] just cheer for my guys. I'm just tired. [I have] been waiting for my back to get better."
Scutaro may start his trip back to the roster with a rehab stint with the Rookie-level Arizona Giants in the next week.
"Maybe get a couple [at-bats], just build, because I have to start pretty much from zero," Scutaro said.
Scutaro said when he does rejoin the roster, he may only play a part-time role.
"[That is] definitely one way to get back," Scutaro said. "Help my team somehow. But I'm just going to be available for whatever. I can help them from the bench, from whatever, pinch-runner or something. ... I'd be more than happy to just contribute."
Added manager Bruce Bochy: "Marco, I think, is frustrated with how long this is taking. In his mind, he's going to try to push this and see if he can get over the hump and get to a point where he can help us in any role that might work for him."
Scutaro was an All-Star in 2013, so to go from a starting second baseman to a potential role on the bench is not easy for him. He said he does not want to rule out returning to the everyday lineup, but when your back is ailing, it isn't always your call.
"You never give up, but sometimes your body makes you kind of understand what's going on," Scutaro said. "I've still got hopes that something's going to come up and help my back get better."
Giants hope to turn things around vs. D-backs
PHOENIX -- The Giants are going through one of the coldest stretches of their season -- they are 2-8 in their last 10 games entering Friday -- but they have a chance to right the ship in a series with a team that's doing just as badly.
The D-backs are 3-7 in their previous 10 games and 8-12 in their past 20. They came into Friday's series opener at Chase Field fresh off a four-game series loss to the Brewers and have the worst winning percentage (.408) in the National League.
"You can always improve on everything," Buster Posey said. "I don't think we're that far off. It's just a matter of getting back in that groove."
Both Posey and manager Bruce Bochy emphasized focus before the series opener. Although the D-backs have had poor results this season, that doesn't mean they can be taken lightly.
"Every game, we think, is the most important game," Bochy said. "There's so much baseball left. You can't ever drop your guard. Any team, any game, that game has to be your focus."
Posey, who played first base for the 13th time this season Friday, has been playing well despite his team's slump. He entered Friday hitting .297 (11-for-37) with a home run in his last 10 games.
"You really just go one game at a time," Posey said. "I don't think you can really pay attention too much to what's happened in the past, good or bad, and just try to focus on the game that you got each day."
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.