SF@ATL: Pagan opens scoring with a leadoff home run

OAKLAND -- Giants outfielder Angel Pagan is heading to Arizona to aid in his recovery from a lower back strain.

Manager Bruce Bochy said both Pagan and the Giants' brass believed a trip to Arizona would prove beneficial, as it'd allow the leadoff hitter to get one-on-one treatment and "clear his head."

The plan is for Pagan to rest Tuesday and then resume baseball activities Wednesday, so Bochy said the Giants would have a better idea of where Pagan stands come Wednesday.

Bochy hopes for Pagan to return "soon after the All-Star break," but said he does not expect Pagan back for the first post-break game.

Elsewhere along the injury front, Marco Scutaro (lower back strain) was scheduled to play seven innings at Triple-A Fresno on Monday night.

"He says he thinks he's ready, but he needs playing time," Bochy said. "I've seen guys go down there, they feel good, they play a game or two and they think they're ready, but he needs at-bats. He's missed so much time. He's got to play nine innings."

The plan is to stretch Scutaro out in the next few days and then the Giants will have a clearer picture of where he stands.

Sandoval remains out with ailing elbow

SF@SD: Panda leaves the game after being hit in elbow

OAKLAND -- Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval missed his second consecutive game due to an elbow injury Monday. Manager Bruce Bochy hopes for a Tuesday return.

After the Giants' 5-0 loss to the A's on Monday night, Bochy said Sandoval told him his arm had loosened up after receiving treatment during the game, and the hope is he'll be able to return Tuesday. Sandoval was not available to pinch-hit Monday.

Prior to Monday night's game, Bochy said Sandoval couldn't fully extend his arm due to swelling and is day to day. He received treatment during Monday night's game. He hasn't swung a bat since leaving Saturday's game after being hit by a pitch and did have an X-ray performed in San Diego.

Bochy was hoping for a quicker recovery, but he feels fortunate the outlook wasn't much worse, comparing it to Brandon Belt's broken thumb, incurred when he was hit by a pitch.

"His left hand was shaking and he couldn't control it," Bochy said about the immediate aftermath of Sandoval's injury, "so I thought there was something going on in there similar to Belt when I saw his thumb."

Luckily for the Giants, there was no fracture this time.

"It hit me right in the bone," Sandoval told Manolo Hernandez-Douen of Beisbol por Gotas before Monday night's game. "It was like if the ball hit the bag."

Giants finding it hard to give Crawford rest

SF@SD: Crawford saves the game with a diving stop

OAKLAND -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy thinks Brandon Crawford could use a break. He just isn't being afforded the chance to give him one, not with the Giants' weak bench and Crawford's strong defensive play, which helped preserve the team's victory against the Padres on Saturday.

That was before Crawford committed two errors in the Giants' 5-0 loss to the A's on Monday night. His manager's confidence in the shortstop was unchanged after the game.

Said Bochy: "He's won too many games for us to be frustrated with him."

Bochy thinks Crawford's hands have been too high on the bat, and he told his shortstop Sunday that he believes a break would be beneficial.

"He's winning games for us," Bochy said before the game. "We need him in the lineup."

Crawford, who's started 82 of the team's 90 games at shortstop, is just 6-for-his-last-42 (.142) at the plate and has hit .091 (1-for-11) with three walks in the Giants' last four games.