7/13/2014 9:37 P.M. ET
Bochy happy with Giants' standing despite skid
By Ryan Hood / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- After completing a three-game sweep of the Mets on June 9, the Giants were 42-21 and had the Majors' best record and a 9 1/2-game advantage on the Dodgers in the National League West. Manager Bruce Bochy said after the game he had "nothing to complain about."
The team's 9-22 record since that afternoon hasn't given him much to celebrate, but while the Giants' month-long slide has erased the cushy division lead, it hasn't left Bochy devoid of perspective.
"I think you have to be, particularly with how we've struggled here the past two or three weeks," Bochy said when asked Sunday morning if he's happy where the team stands, one game behind the Dodgers. "We're right there. Still got to pick it up to get to where we want to go, but if you would've looked at what we've done the past few weeks and told me we'd only be one game out, I would've done cartwheels around this ballpark.
"There's so much baseball left. We got to feel good about where we're at and we've got to remind ourselves how fortunate we are, because there are a lot of teams that would love to be right there where we're at."
Cain drops to fifth in Giants' post-break rotation
SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Bruce Bochy revealed the plan for his post-break pitching rotation after the Giants' 8-4 victory Sunday.
Madison Bumgarner will remain atop the rotation, but everyone else has been shuffled. Bochy said Tim Hudson will be the No. 2 starter, barring a lengthy outing in Tuesday night's All-Star Game. Tim Lincecum's recent excellence has moved him from the fourth slot to the third, and Ryan Vogelsong moved from fifth to fourth, as Matt Cain was dropped from the second spot to the bottom of the rotation.
"He's fine," Bochy said of Cain. "We're just going to push him back a little bit."
Cain's spent two stints on the disabled list this season. Bochy believes Cain will benefit from the extra rest he'll get with a five-game wait following the All-Star break. Bochy added that Cain falling in the order had more to do with everyone else's successes than any shortcomings of Cain.
Hudson replaces Bumgarner on All-Star roster
SAN FRANCISCO -- The fishing trip Giants starter Tim Hudson planned to take during the All-Star break is going to have to wait -- he has a baseball game Tuesday night.
All-Star Madison Bumgarner starting Sunday gave him the option to be ineligible for Tuesday's Midsummer Classic, and National League manager Mike Matheny didn't have to look far -- one locker stall to the left, to be exact -- to find a replacement, naming Hudson to the squad.
At age 39 (tomorrow), Team Hudson is ever so thankful to be heading to the All-Star Game. Even Jax gets to go! pic.twitter.com/cTT4PMfXdS- Kim Hudson (@kimberlybhudson) July 13, 2014
The 38-year-old is 7-6 with a 2.87 ERA in 18 starts. He's thrown seven or more innings in 11 of those outings and has allowed two earned runs or fewer 13 times. This marks the fourth All-Star selection for Hudson, and his first since 2010 (2000 and 2004 were the others). Not bad for a veteran whose 2013 campaign ended in agony with a broken ankle while covering first base.
"He's been very solid for us this first half," catcher Buster Posey said after the team's 8-4 victory Sunday. "It's good to see a guy that's towards the end of his career getting a chance to do that again."
Manager Bruce Bochy anticipated getting a pitcher that'd consistently give the Giants a chance to win, so he hasn't been too surprised by Hudson's success. Hudson's still been better than they had expected, though. Same goes for the ankle, which Bochy said is no longer a concern after some early-season soreness.
"I think he's even exceeded those," Bochy said of the team's expectations for Hudson, "because in a lot of these outings, he's been so good."
Added Bumgarner, who will be unavailable for the All-Star Game after starting Sunday's game: "Everybody knew how good of a pickup it was going to be. He definitely hasn't disappointed and deserves to go as much as anybody, if not more. I'm happy to see him going there. He's earned it."
Back stiffness knocks Belt out of first-half finale
SAN FRANCISCO -- First baseman Brandon Belt was a late scratch from the Giants lineup in the team's 8-4 victory on Sunday afternoon with back stiffness.
After the game, Belt said the back "locked up" on him. He said it's happened before and will happen again, but he will be good to go at the conclusion of the All-Star break.
Belt wrote about the minor injury after Sunday's game on the blog he shares with Brandon Crawford.
From the post: "I was scratched from the lineup right before the game. I tweaked my back in batting practice and started spasming. It's nothing new. It happens about twice a year. It almost [always] happens in spring training because I'm not used to playing. That's probably the reason it happened today, too. My body is not all the way back from my time off with the thumb injury.
"I did treatment in the training room all afternoon, but nothing helped. I'm about to get on a plane back home to Texas tonight, so I'll take a pain reliever. I'll rest it over the next few days of the All-Star break, and it'll be fine."
In Belt's place, Ehire Adrianza was inserted into the lineup at second base. Joaquin Arias started at first, after originally being slated to start at second.
The scratch came a day after Belt went 1-for-2 at the plate with two walks. He's hitting .167 (5-for-30) with a home run and four RBIs in nine games since returning from a broken left thumb.
• After a tumultuous three-week stretch, Sergio Romo threw a third consecutive scoreless outing Sunday. He's throwing his breaking balls low in the zone and has regained command of his fastball en route to allowing just one hit while striking out seven in his last three appearances, a span of 3 1/3 innings.
"He's hitting his spots a lot better now," Bochy said after Saturday's game. "It looks like he's getting his confidence back, which is big. It's good to see Serg throwing the ball the way he is."
• Bochy said there won't be a timetable for when Angel Pagan (lower back strain) will be able to start a Minor League rehab assignment for a few more days, since Pagan hasn't resumed swinging a bat yet.
• Bochy said Marco Scutaro was sore -- as expected -- after Saturday afternoon's game, but he hoped Scutaro would be available to pinch-hit Sunday. Ehire Adrianza started at second base.
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanhood19. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.