(Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants breathed a sigh of relief when X-
rays on the right wrist of slugger Pablo Sandoval were negative. The third
baseman is expected to be in the lineup Sunday, as the Giants aim for a series
win over the Atlanta Braves in the finale of a four-game set.
Sandoval was hit on the wrist by Braves starter Paul Maholm in the fifth
inning of Saturday's 10-1 blowout. Sandoval remained in the game and was later
replaced during a double-switch in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sandoval
homered and scored twice in the win.
"He's going to be a little sore," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said on the
club's website. "I'll check him out (Sunday) and see if he's available. I'm a
little concerned, obviously, when you get hit there."
The bulky Sandoval is batting .315 with five homers and 25 RBI this season.
Gregor Blanco had a good day in the third test with Atlanta and went 2-for-2
with four RBI and a run scored, while Brandon Belt drove in two runs and
starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner improved to 4-1 by striking out 11 and
allowing one run in seven innings.
"He throws his cutter into righties and makes righties feel uneasy," Atlanta
third baseman Chris Johnson said of facing Bumgarner. "Then he throws his two-
seamer away and his slider. His changeup was good. With a guy like that, you
can't really do too much."
San Francisco was able to regain the top spot in the NL West and owns a one-
game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks, who lost to Philadelphia Saturday
night. The Giants have won three of four and nine of their last 12 games and
will play their next six games on the road at Toronto and Colorado.
Giants starter Tim Lincecum hasn't won since April 20 and will try to end his
current funk Sunday versus the Braves. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is
0-2 with a 5.68 earned run average in his last three starts and has been
reached for five runs in each of his previous two.
Lincecum was dealt the loss in Tuesday's 6-2 score versus the Phillies and
allowed five runs and nine hits over seven innings, falling to 2-2 in seven
outings with a 4.75 ERA.
"He was really good at times; other times he made some mistakes," Giants
manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had good stuff tonight but had trouble
commanding the fastball at times."
The right-hander has made 11 career starts against Atlanta and is 6-5 with a
3.28 ERA in that time.
Atlanta, which is a game ahead of Washington for the NL East lead, has
experienced some difficulties on this 10-game road trip (3-3) and looks for a
series split this afternoon. Maholm put his team in a hole by allowing six
runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings to suffer the loss. Reliever Anthony
Varvaro surrendered three runs.
"I didn't make a few pitches and we didn't make a few plays," Maholm said. "We
weren't able to get anything on the board. They played better today."
Maholm had the lone RBI with a run-scoring single in the fifth inning and Evan
Gattis finished with two hits for Atlanta, which has lost two straight since
winning four of five and will visit the D'backs for three games on the trek.
Braves starter Kris Medlen was in line for a win his last time out, but the
bullpen blew that opportunity. Medlen looks to get the job done himself Sunday
and pitched well in Tuesday's 5-4 loss at Cincinnati. Medlen allowed just two
runs in seven innings, but closer Craig Kimbrel gave up back-to-back two-out
solo home runs to Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo in the ninth.
Medlen, who entered the night on a personal three-game slide, did not record a
decision and is 1-4 with a 3.25 ERA in seven starts. The right-hander, who
went 10-1 a season ago, is 1-2 in four road starts and 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in
six career games (1 start) against San Francisco.
The Giants, who have outscored the Braves by an 18-3 margin the last two
games, split a four-game series with Atlanta at home last season.
The Sports Network