Giants' Joe Panik, left, and Matt Duffy celebrate after scoring against the San Diego Padres in the eighth inning of a baseball game on Thursday. Both scored on a double by Buster Posey. (Ben Margot/AP Photo)

Giants back on track as rotation shakeup looms

One hallmark of the Giants under the watch of manager Bruce Bochy is that every player always accepts his role — whether he likes it or not.

“It’s really been a big reason for our success,” Bochy said. “[It’s] how unselfish this group is whether they’re changing a position or where they hit in the order.”

With Jake Peavy and Matt Cain set to return to the rotation next week, Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum could be the next Giants who are asked to sacrifice their egos, and their starting spots, for the good of the squad.

“These are tough decisions that have to be made,” Bochy said when asked how he plans to fit seven starters into a five-man rotation. “I’ll have to get creative here to make this thing work.”
The rotation shakeup is looming just as the Giants appear to be getting back on track. Thanks to a season-high 19 hits, the team smashed past the San Diego Padres 13-8 on Thursday.

After topping the Padres in the final two contests of the three-game set, the Giants claimed their first series win at home since sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers from May 19-21. The back-to-back wins also marked the first time the Giants have accomplished that feat since beating the Atlanta Braves on consecutive days on May 28-29.

The Giants got the result they were looking for, but the final score was closer than it needed to be after the Padres turned in a six-run onslaught in the eighth inning.
“It got a little scary,” Bochy said.

It also has gotten a little scary whenever Lincecum takes the mound as of late. In his past seven starts, the right-hander has racked up a 5.56 ERA. He’s scheduled to start Saturday, but there’s a very real possibility he’ll be banished to the bullpen after that outing.

“You just focus on the day at hand,” Lincecum said. “You can’t really think about too far ahead and you’ve got to just worry about what you can control and being prepared on that day. You’ve got to leave the rest up to their decisions and hope for the best.”

Hudson, who gets the nod tonight at home against Colorado, also is in jeopardy of surrendering his spot in the rotation. With his balky right ankle continuing to cause problems, the veteran could be placed on the disabled list to rest up until he’s once again needed.

Nothing is a unofficial just yet, but in a week’s time, the Giants could have a two-time Cy Young Award winner in the bullpen and a 219-game winner with no role at all. As it’s always been in the past, Bochy doesn’t see any problems arising.

“It’s nice to have the character that we have on this ballclub,” Bochy said. “It makes it a lot easier to make the changes like we’ve had to do
here.”

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