Programming note: Giants-Rangers coverage starts today at 11:30 a.m. with Giants Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's going to be about 97 degrees when the Giants take the field Sunday, but the heat has done little to help Joe Panik deal with a stiff back. Panik missed two games earlier this week and is out of the lineup for a series finale with the Rangers. Bochy said Panik was dealing with the back issue while playing the last two nights.
"He gutted it out," Bochy said. "Afterward, though, I just had to tell him he's off (Sunday). It was obvious watching him run at times that it was bothering him. Joe is the kind of guy that's not going to say much. It's unbelievable really how he gutted it out, not just finishing the game but getting a huge hit."
Panik's double ended Cole Hamels' night and helped spark a three-run eighth inning in a 9-7 win. He also had a double in the third inning and came around to score. Bochy said Panik might need more than a day to get this right, and he'll be checked again when the team gets to Atlanta. Panik has not had any tests done on his back but it's possible the Giants will send him for a few if the back injury lingers.
[RELATED: Pence at DH, Panik out in Leake's debut]
Panik should be available off the bench tonight, but in an emergency Bochy said he could use Nori Aoki at second base. Aoki has (seriously) played the position in the past, although never in the big leagues. It was pointed out that Hector Sanchez loves to mess around during BP and actually carries a middle infielder's glove with him during spring training.
"I don't want to see that range," Bochy said.
We won't see Aubrey Huff 2.0, then.
--- Mike Leake makes his Giants debut today, but he was still walking around in red running shoes this morning with the No. 44 on the side. Leake will be No. 13 in orange and black. It turns out it was kind of a scramble to get new gear for Leake, who was traded late Thursday night. Bret Alexander and Brad Grems, who run the clubhouse, ended up ordering some new equipment from Majestic and Nike as midnight approached Thursday. Gear was overnighted to Globe Life Park and arrived Saturday, just in time. "We were pulling from everywhere," Alexander said.
Grems carries blank jerseys with him on the road and has numbers and letters that can be sewn on, so Leake has a road Giants jersey all ready to go. He said it's obviously an easier process at home, and most clubs have a seamstress on hand in their home parks. They made it work, though, and Leake will be all orange and black from here on out.
--- Interesting note from Jayson Stark of ESPN: The Phillies had not blown a three-run lead for Hamels in five years. The Rangers bullpen did it on Night 1.