Giants sign Francoeur, shake up roster 

After dropping a 16-inning heartbreaker to the New York Mets on Monday, the Giants pulled the trigger on a series of moves in hopes of giving the team a jolt.

Kensuke Tanaka made his major-league debut for the Giants on Tuesday playing in left field and batting second after the team purchased his contract from Triple-A Fresno. The club made room for Tanaka by sending down outfielder Cole Gillespie.

Tanaka batted .330 while scoring 43 runs and stealing 20 bases in 78 games with Fresno. Gillespie was 0-for-9 in three games with the Giants.

The Giants also signed outfielder Jeff Francoeur to a minor-league contract on Tuesday. The 29-year-old reported to Fresno on Tuesday after recently being cut by the Kansas City Royals. The eight-year veteran struggled with the Royals this season, hitting .208 in 59 games. Francoeur, nicknamed “Frenchy,” is a career .264 hitter, who won a Gold Glove award with the Atlanta Braves in 2007. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2005 with the headline “The Natural” after he hit .360 in his first 37 major league games.

The Giants signed Francoeur and called up Tanaka in search of outfield help a day after Andres Torres made a pair of defensive miscues in left field. Torres was batting .160 (4-for-25) over his last eight games heading into Tuesday’s contest.

In a third move, the Giants placed catcher Hector Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain and recalled pitcher Mike Kickham, who was sent to Fresno after Chad Gaudin was reactivated from the disabled list on Sunday.

With Gaudin in rotation, Kickham, who’s started three games for the Giants posting a 0-3 record with a 12.15 ERA, is expected to serve as a long reliever out of the bullpen.

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Paul Gackle

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