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SF Giants lineup: Pagan out again, Sandoval dropped to No. 5

The waiting game on Angel Pagan is getting old. After the Giants decided not to put their center fielder on the disabled list 12 days ago Pagan has not played a lick, as he is out of Bruce Bochy’s lineup for the 11th straight game. The Giants’ bench has been down a man, and was for a short time down two because of a foot injury to Pablo Sandoval that kept him out for three games. I know the Giants have played this injury safe, but wouldn’t the safe call have been to give him the two weeks anyway and make a roster move? Perplexing.

Speaking of Sandoval and his foot injury, the third baseman will bat fifth for the first time this season. In fact, tonight’s game will mark the first of Sandoval’s 2013 starts where he wasn’t the No. 3 hitter. A mainstay at that spot, Sandoval has taken almost 60 percent of his career plate appearances there. Panda’ recent struggles — 6 for his last 37 — coupled with Hunter Pence’s consistent season-long slash line of .290/.335/.494 made the move inevitable.

Andres Torres will hit leadoff for the fifth time this season, a nod to the fact that he has been much better recently than Gregor Blanco. The White Shark has had 10 cracks at the leadoff spot but has not produced, compiling a .267 OBP in those games. Torres has a season OBP of .315, lower than Blanco’s .320 season number. But Torres has posted a .342 mark since Pagan went down with an injury two Saturdays ago.

It was (wisely) pointed out by a commenter that Bochy plays the platoon matchup with Torres and Blanco in the leadoff spot based on the handedness of the opposing starting pitcher. When lefties like Patrick Corbin are on the mound, Torres gets to switch-hit himself on over to the right side of the plate. Blanco typically gets to face right handers. Torres’ recent success makes the platoon more advantageous.

Here’s the Giants’ lineup against LHP Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.06 ERA):

LF Torres

2B Scutaro

RF Pence

C Posey

3B Sandoval

1B Belt

SS Crawford

CF Blanco

RHP Cain (4-3, 5.45 ERA)

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