WSH@SF: Crawford hammers a leadoff triple to center

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hoping that Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford can continue his hot hitting, manager Bruce Bochy elevated him in the batting order for Wednesday night's game against the Washington Nationals.

Crawford originally was slated to hit sixth. He rose to the fifth spot when third baseman Pablo Sandoval, feeling too ill to play, was scratched from the lineup about 45 minutes before gametime.

Crawford entered the game batting .450 (9-for-20) during a six-game hitting streak, lifting his average from .234 to .255. Tuesday, Crawford tripled and scored San Francisco's lone run in the eighth inning and lost out on a sixth-inning RBI when he singled but Sandoval was thrown out at home plate.

Crawford batted sixth in three of his previous 60 starts, the only occasions this year when he hit higher than seventh. Before Wednesday, his .286 average with runners in scoring position helped him amass 33 RBIs. That ranked second on the club to Michael Morse's 42. Moreover, by comparison, Crawford totaled 45 RBIs in 2012 and 43 RBIs in 2013.

"I like the way he's swinging now," Bochy said, explaining the move. "He's squaring up the ball really consistently."

Giants deal left-hander Huff back to Yankees

SF@LAD: Huff ends the inning by striking out Ellis

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants returned David Huff to where they found him, sending the left-hander to the New York Yankees for cash considerations Wednesday.

Huff moved from the Yankees to the Giants on Jan. 24, also in exchange for cash considerations. The Giants believed that the 29-year-old might be able to provide depth as a long reliever and even as a part-time starter. But after Huff compiled a 1-0 record with a 6.30 ERA in 16 relief appearances, San Francisco designated him for assignment last Friday.

Huff will be reunited with Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who coaxed him last year into lowering his arm angle in an attempt to improve his effectiveness against left-handed batters. Huff indeed improved in that area with the Giants; left-handers batted .270 off him, compared to .311 entering this season. But right-handers hit .354 off Huff, up from .283 before this year.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who had hoped to keep Huff in San Francisco's organization, reiterated those sentiments.

"It worked out well for him," Bochy said. "At the same time, it would have worked out well if we had kept him."

Illness knocks Sandoval out of Giants' lineup

WSH@SF: Panda grounds a single to plate Hicks

SAN FRANCISCO -- Third baseman Pablo Sandoval was a late scratch from the Giants' lineup Wednesday night due to sickness. Manager Bruce Bochy said before the game that Sandoval has been taking antibiotics.

Joaquin Arias got the start at third base vs. the Nationals in his place, with Michael Morse moving up from fifth to Sandoval's cleanup spot in the batting order.

Sandoval made a pinch-hit appearance in the seventh inning, though, singling home Brandon Hicks to cut Washington's lead to two in an eventual 6-2 San Francisco loss. Bochy said after the game he hopes Sandoval will be in the lineup Thursday.

"He turned for the worst," Bochy said after the game of Sandoval's late scratch. "He'd been on antibiotics; they're not helping at all and it just got to the point where he couldn't go. If I was going to play him, I was going to pinch-hit him today and that was it. He gave us a good pinch-hit appearance there. My hope is tomorrow he'll feel better and be OK to go."

Sandoval is hitting .256 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs.

Posey donates 1,000 gloves to Junior Giants

Buster Posey donates 1,000 gloves to the Jr. Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey's first glove was a hand-me-down his mother had previously used.

He used it for a couple years. He slept with it. He still has it.

Prior to Wednesday night's game at AT&T Park, Posey made sure roughly 1,000 kids from the Giants Community Fund's Junior Giants baseball program had a glove to call their own.

Posey joined Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper on top of the visitor's dugout for a 15-minute Q&A session with the kids, participants in the Concord, Daly City, Hayward, Hunter's Point, Milpitas, San Bruno, San Francisco Mission YMCA and San Mateo leagues.

Posey -- serving as the Junior Giants commissioner -- also bought tickets to Wednesday night's game for each of the kids.

Junior Giants is a free, non-competitive co-ed program in more than 90 underserved communities across California, Nevada and Oregon. Of the 21,000 players, more than 10,000 do not have a glove of their own. Eighty percent of participants come from low- to moderate-income households.

Worth noting

• With Michael Morse at first and Buster Posey behind the plate again, Gregor Blanco got the nod over Tyler Colvin to start in left field for the second consecutive game Wednesday. Manager Bruce Bochy said there isn't much to that; he "could go either way every day" with those two and opted to go with the speedier option because of Washington's strong rotation.

• Bench coach Ron Wotus returned to the Giants for Wednesday night's game. Wotus had missed the last two games attending memorial services for his late father-in-law.