Pre-game & lineups: Pablo Sandoval is out of the lineup to start series


If it’s not one thing, it’s another with this season’s edition of the San Francisco Giants. Tonight starts a 4-game series against the Oakland A’s and once again a big bat is out of the lineup.

This time it’s Pablo Sandoval who was hit in the arm, on a pitch he swung and missed on, and removed from the lineup yesterday. He won’t bounce back from the arm contusion to make the start tonight. There is still swelling but manager Bruce Bochy told reporters before the game that Sandoval could possibly pinch-hit if needed.

The Giants and A’s face each other in their annual interleague matchup starting tonight. Games 1 & 2 are in Oakland and 3 & 4 are in San Francisco. Tonight at Coliseum it’s RHP Ryan Vogelsong (5-5, 3.86 ERA) against RHP Jesse Chavez (6-5, 3.23 ERA).

The A’s have the best record in baseball and are coming off a 4-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays in which they allowed 4 total runs. Sparked by the return of Brandon Belt, the Giants have won 2 straight and somewhat resemble the team we started to know back in April.

The lineups for tonight’s game, first pitch is 7:05 PT:

Hunter Pence RF
Joe Panik 2B
Brandon Belt 1B
Buster Posey C
Michael Morse DH
Tyler Colvin LF
Gregor Blanco CF
Joaquin Arias 3B
Brandon Crawford SS

Coco Crisp CF
John Jaso C
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Brandon Moss DH
Josh Donaldson 3B
Stephen Vogt 1B
Jed Lowrie SS
Alberto Callaspo RF
Craig Gentry RF

With tonight’s game in the AL park Morse gets to DH and the Giants insert Colvin’s glove in the outfield. It also doesn’t hurt to get another left-handed bat in the lineup.

Both Pence and Morse each have a hit off A’s starter Chavez. That’s it, that’s the list. Most Giants hitters have not faced Chavez before. After starting the season 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA, Chavez has struggled. In his last 8 starts Chavez is 2-4 with a 4.08 ERA. Over his last 2 starts Chavez gave up 9 runs in 10 innings.

It’s the same on the other side. No Oakland player has faced Vogelsong more than 3 times. Callaspo has the only success with 2 hits, including a home run. Vogelsong is not limping in to this game like A’s starter Chavez. He’s put together back to back quality starts. There’s just nothing to show for it because the Giants offense gave him no run support.

The Giants can climb back into a tie for first place with a win tonight. They enter the game just a half game back of the Dodgers, who are off today. A win tonight would be 3 straight for the Giants, the most since they won 5 straight in early June.

Marco Scutaro is moving up the rehab chain. He’s scheduled to start for AAA Fresno tonight. It’s looking like he could be back after the All-Star break.