Another close win, with another loss — Freddy Sanchez

San Francisco Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez, center, is helped off the field by a trainer and Bruce Bochy, right, after being injured fielding a base hit by Cincinnati Reds' Brandon Phillips in the fifth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Friday, June 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

And the hits just keeping on coming.

Fortunately, so do the walk-off wins.

Just as there appeared to be a little bit of light at the end of the injury tunnel, things got dark again when Freddy Sanchez left Friday’s game with a dislocated shoulder.

The injury didn’t keep the Giants from getting their ninth walk-off win of the season on Nate Schierholtz’s game-winning single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Giants a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

But the excitement of the win was sobered some by the injury to Sanchez.

Sanchez hurt his shoulder while making a diving stop of a groundball up the middle. He left the game in clear pain and was later taken to the hospital for treatment, after Giants trainers popped the shoulder back in place.

Now, we wait for an MRI on Saturday to determine the severity of the injury.

If accurate, the initial diagnosis for a dislocated shoulder is better than a separated shoulder. A separated shoulder involves a tear of the ligament that holds the shoulder in place. It would require a six-week minimum of recovery time, and likely would require surgery.

With a dislocated shoulder, you’re looking at a recovery time of 3 to 12 weeks, depending on the severity.

In the meantime, the Giants have to consider their next roster move, assuming Sanchez is headed to the DL.

Infielders Mike Fontenot and Pablo Sandoval are on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno. Both were expected to rejoin the Giants on Tuesday, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy did not expect either to return any sooner. Fontenot, in fact, may have suffered a setback with his groin injury on Friday.

The first option is to do nothing and wait for Sandoval to rejoin the team on Tuesday in Arizona. With the Giants playing an afternoon game Saturday and with Fresno playing in Salt Lake City, there’s little chance of getting a replacement player in town ready to play Saturday. So we’re really only talking about playing shorthanded one more game on Sunday.

This is the most likely option. Sandoval would then take over a third base on his return, with Burriss taking over at second base until Fontenot returns. We could even see Miguel Tejada at second base, particularly if he continues his recent hot streak. Fontenot’s return from the DL likely would result in Connor Gillaspie returning to Triple-A.

But there’s another option. On Friday, Bochy mentioned that the Giants have not discounted the possibility of Sandoval playing catcher on occassion — saying that he would only make two starts a week at most under that scenario. That option would lead to Chris Stewart being sent back to Fresno.

And the Giants could also consider calling up Brett Pill from Fresno. Pill has gotten off to a fast start at Triple-A, playing both 1B and 2B. At this point, the Giants have no sub for Aubrey Huff at first base, with Sandoval becoming the first backup option at 1B when he returns. But calling up Pill would require the Giants to make a move to open a spot on the 40-man roster. That could be created by sending Buster Posey to the 60-day DL.

Interesting to see which way the Giants go.


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