DENVER – For some teams, losing an inside-the-park home run in the lights would count as a bad break. Ah, but the Giants are doing things with an extra flourish this season.
Hunter Pence also twisted his left knee on the play Friday night, and he is out of the lineup Saturday against the Colorado Rockies.
The good news for a team conditioned to hearing the worst: Pence said he is available off the bench and expected to start Sunday’s series finale.
For now, though, the Giants will start a major league outfield (Chris Marrero, Denard Span, Gorkys Hernandez) that has combined to hit .150 with one home run in 113 at-bats this season.
Pence said his knee was fine, and that “they just want to give it a day of rest.”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Pence has a bruise at the back of his knee. He wanted to make sure Pence would be available to play Wednesday afternoon against Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland.
The Giants will be without shortstop Brandon Crawford next week for at least a portion of their four-game home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Crawford will go on the three-day bereavement list to attend services for his sister-in-law, Jennifer Pippin, who died unexpectedly April 12 after suffering an asthma attack.
Crawford is certain to miss games against the Dodgers on Wednesday and Thursday. It hasn’t been determined whether he would miss the third game on the front or back end. The Giants likely will recall infielder Kelby Tomlinson in Crawford’s absence.
Left-hander Ty Blach’s relief appearance Friday will not change the plan to start in Madison Bumgarner’s place against the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday, Bochy said.
Blach was going to build his pitch count in a side session Saturday, but those plans changed.
Bochy said he was more important that Blach was able to work a clean inning after he struggled with his command in Kansas City earlier on the road trip.
“We expect Ty to be fine,” Bochy said. “He’ll handle himself. He showed it last year in an important stretch of baseball. We’ll keep an eye on him because he hasn’t been stretched out.”
Hunter Strickland got a haircut. He did not get it tightened up in the back. Yes, he is officially in mullet territory now. A little more growth and some extra product, and that pelt of his will be venturing into Kenny Powers territory.
Just thought you could use some non-awful Giants news.
Here are lineups for Saturday night’s game: