The Brewers will send Zack Greinke to the mound to face Tim Lincecum and the Giants on Friday night at AT&T Park, the marquee matchup that will be followed by Randy Wolf-Madison Bumgarner and Shaun Marcum-Matt Cain. The Brewers opted to use Thursday's off-day to skip Marco Estrada's turn in the rotation, keeping their other starters on a regular, every-fifth-day schedule.
"I'm not looking forward to any one matchup because I get excited every night, but this one is going to be fun," Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said of Friday's series opener. "I get excited every time I go out there and catch Zack Greinke. It's going to be a good battle, and that's the best thing you can hope for in a Major League Baseball game."
"I become a fan in those instances," added Brewers right fielder Corey Hart. "Those pitchers' duels are fun. As a hitter, you want your stats, but those games are so intense, because you know every play could be the play. So Friday could be fun."
Greinke pitched well in his last start, beating the Cardinals to avoid a three-game sweep, but he hasn't been entirely pleased with the way he's pitched so far this season.
"I don't think he ever is," Lucroy said. "Guys that are that good, I don't think they're ever content. That's the way you want him to be."
Lincecum wasn't particularly happy with his performance early on this year, either, but he's given the Giants plenty of reasons recently to believe he's getting on the right track.
The right-hander threw eight innings and allowed only one unearned run against the Padres on Saturday, though he walked four batters and has issued nine free passes over his past two starts.
"Mentally I just felt a little more into the game from beginning to end," Lincecum said Saturday. "I'll just try not to overthink anything between now and next start. Hopefully it builds off itself."
Brewers: Injuries taking toll
The Brewers are still reeling from the loss of left-hander Chris Narveson to a torn rotator cuff and first baseman Mat Gamel to a torn ACL.
"We don't have the luxury of being disappointed," said left fielder Ryan Braun, who left Wednesday's loss to the Padres with his own medical issue -- a sore right Achilles. "We feel for both of the guys, two guys we were excited about, but nobody is going to feel bad for us."
Giants: Sandoval has broken hand
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval, the club's top run producer, went on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a fractured left hamate bone.
The Giants recalled Conor Gillaspie from Triple-A Fresno to replace Sandoval, who's estimated to be sidelined from four to six weeks.
"You just don't replace a guy like Pablo," manager Bruce Bochy said. "The guy was on the All-Star team last year. There are few guys in Major League Baseball who can do things he can do with the bat."
Sandoval, batting .316 with 15 RBIs, will undergo surgery Friday in Palo Alto to have the bone removed. Dr. Tim McAdams will perform the procedure.
Brooks Conrad, the last Brewers player cut from spring camp, will be promoted before Friday's game.
Giants lefty Dan Runzler had a "mild setback" in his recovery from a strained left side but said he feels close to starting a Minor League rehab assignment.