Notes: Regular lineup eluding Bochy
Lowry ends on up note; bullpen picture still lacks focus
MESA, Ariz. -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy could be excused for feeling envious Friday as he stared at the Chicago Cubs.Losing key players briefly to nagging injuries and excusing veterans from four-hour Tucson round trips have prevented Bochy from using his projected Opening Day lineup for most of the Cactus League season. Last Sunday, Barry Bonds was the only regular not to start against Kansas City, but that marked the only time since March 15 that Bochy has had as many as seven starters in the lineup. By contrast, the Cubs used every regular except shortstop Cesar Izturis in their 6-2 exhibition victory over the Giants at HoHoKam Park. Bochy longs for the day when he can field that kind of team. "It'll be nice to see them all out there," said Bochy, who was without center fielder Dave Roberts (sprained joint near chest), first baseman Rich Aurilia (strained groin), second baseman Ray Durham (tight right hamstring) and Bonds (rest). Bochy expressed hopes that Durham can rejoin the lineup Saturday against the Cubs in Scottsdale. Bonds also is likely to play. Roberts might need an additional day to rest, and Aurilia is expected to be sidelined until the end of next week. Bochy added that he hopes to use more of his regulars together by the time the Giants finish Cactus League play next Wednesday. After that, they'll play four exhibitions in the Bay Area, March 29-April 1, that should enable the starters to acclimate to each other. Lowry labors: Noah Lowry worked a spring-high five innings but allowed five runs and seven hits. Mark DeRosa's RBI single and Ronny Cedeno's three-run homer fueled Chicago's four-run second inning that ruined Lowry's afternoon shortly after it began. But Bochy took heart in Lowry's final inning, which featured Jacque Jones' strikeout and DeRosa's double-play grounder. Before that, Bochy noticed that Lowry was struggling with his release point, accounting for his shaky performance. "For him to find it there in the last inning was encouraging," Bochy said. "I really felt he figured out a lot today." Seeking answers: The relievers' erratic performances haven't helped Bochy's efforts to select bullpen personnel.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.