Rowand, Renteria sit in finale
Giants tab Velez, Uribe for first starts of season
SAN DIEGO -- A day game following a night game usually prompts lineup changes. That was the case Sunday with the Giants, as manager Bruce Bochy rested center fielder Aaron Rowand and shortstop Edgar Renteria.Eugenio Velez replaced Rowand, who began Sunday hitting .389, and batted eighth. Juan Uribe filled in for Renteria and hit seventh. Bochy thus followed through on his Spring Training pronouncement about giving Rowand an occasional off-day to account for his rugged style of play. Rowand hit .335 in last season's first two months but only .239 afterward.
"It's going to keep him fresh, giving him a break now and then," Bochy said.Matchups also spurred the move. Rowand entered Sunday hitless in 10 career at-bats against Padres right-hander Chris Young. By contrast, Velez was 4-for-7 off Young. Bochy dismissed concerns about possibly downgrading the defense by inserting Velez.
"I thought he played a good center field this spring," Bochy said. "He's much more comfortable."Bochy said he felt compelled to give more playing time to Uribe, who had been limited to two pinch-hitting appearances. Moreover, Bochy indicated that resting Renteria might prevent a recurrence of the right elbow tendinitis that bothered the 33-year-old toward the end of Spring Training. With Renteria out, second baseman Emmanuel Burriss rose from eighth to second in the batting order.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.