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SAN FRANCISCO – Center fielder Angel Pagan was held out of Wednesday’s lineup after an MRI showed he has a mild abductor muscle strain in his groin.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the injury isn’t serious and that Pagan could be back in the lineup as soon as Thursday. Pagan originally hurt himself while fielding a ball Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He initially felt pain in his hamstring but Wednesday morning’s MRI showed the injury is actually centered in the groin area.
“He wants to play, but with a day game after a night game, I’d just rather be cautious here,” Bochy said before the series finale against Philadelphia. “The last thing we need is a setback with him. We feel like this is going to go away and he’s gonna be fine. We actually got good news (from the MRI).”
Pagan sat out Sunday and Monday but returned for Tuesday night, going 0 for 3 with an RBI in a 6-2 loss to the Phillies.
Gregor Blanco replaced Pagan in center field and in the leadoff spot Wednesday, with Francisco Peguero playing left field.
Bochy said Pagan feels the most pain when he’s hitting.
“He doesn’t feel it throwing, he doesn’t feel it running. In his stride, when he rotates on his swing is when he feels it a little bit.”
Another notable absence from Wednesday’s lineup: catcher Buster Posey.
Guillermo Quiroz is behind the plate for Barry Zito’s start.
“I checked with Buster and checked with the trainers, and at this point he needs a day off,” Bochy said. “He played first a couple days ago but at some point he needs a complete day off.”
--Six of the Giants’ 10 series so far have resulted in sweeps – the Giants have won four of those and been swept in two.
Is there an explanation?
“It’s been a year of streaks for us,” Bochy said. “I think it’s more a case that we haven’t quite been as consistent with the quality starts that we normally get. That’s what keeps you out of losing streaks.”
The Phillies have won the first two of this three-game series, and they haven’t swept three games from the Giants in San Francisco since May 18-20, 1984.
While acknowledging the rotation’s struggles as a whole, Bochy continued to support Tim Lincecum, who gave up five runs in seven innings Tuesday and has a 4.75 ERA.
“You look at Timmy and look at his stuff, it’s really good,” Bochy said. “He’s just made a few mistakes the last two games. I think you could look at that and (say) he’s throwing too well right now for him to give up the runs he’s given up.”