Blue Jays-Giants Preview
Cabrera, suspended for drug use last season and now with the Toronto Blue Jays, may not get as favorable a reunion with Bay Area fans when he returns to San Francisco in Tuesday night's opener of a two-game set.
The outfielder was suspended 50 games Aug. 15 for a positive testosterone test. The MVP of last year's All-Star game, he was left off the Giants' postseason roster and took the unprecedented move of disqualifying himself for the NL batting title. San Francisco's Buster Posey took the crown by leading the majors with a .336 average while Cabrera batted .346.
Bochy presented Cabrera with his ring in a private ceremony in the weight room before the start of a series May 14-15. Toronto (24-33) swept the two games from San Francisco (30-27).
The manager may have done that to avoid a scene at home, although Cabrera insists he isn't worried about his reception.
"It's up to the fans, it's nothing I have control of," Cabrera told the Blue Jays' official website. "I'm just going to play the game. If they decide to boo, that's fine. If they decide to cheer, that's fine with me, too. But I'm not going to worry about that. I'm just going to focus on the game and try to help my team win."
There will likely be boos if Cabrera produces like he did in last month's series. He went 5 for 8 with four runs scored and two RBIs.
San Francisco starters allowed 16 runs in that series. Half of them were unearned, as the Giants totaled four errors.
Tim Lincecum (3-5, 5.12 ERA), who hasn't faced the Blue Jays since 2007, could be pitching to remain in the rotation Tuesday. Lincecum has posted an 8.27 ERA in losing his last three starts, and Bochy actually had the right-hander available in the bullpen this past weekend in St. Louis.
Cabrera is 1 for 6 against Lincecum.
These teams had Monday off. Toronto, however, is no doubt looking for some length out of starter Josh Johnson (0-1, 6.86) after its bullpen allowed one run in 22 2-3 innings over the weekend as the Blue Jays dropped two of three in San Diego.
Toronto relievers worked nine scoreless innings in Sunday's 7-4, 11-inning victory.
"We're proud of it, but then again, we're only as good as our next one,'' reliever Steve Delabar said.
Johnson will make his first start since April 21 after being out due to right triceps inflammation. He has worked on a revamped changeup during his rehab.
"Hopefully, I can get it to that level where it can be a huge pitch for me," said Johnson, seeking his first win in eight starts.
The right-hander is 0-3 with a 3.46 ERA in six outings against the Giants. Hunter Pence (5 for 11 with two homers) and Andres Torres (5 for 8 with a homer and three doubles) have fared well against him.
The same can be said of Angel Pagan, who is 6 for 17 against Johnson and may return Tuesday after missing eight games with a sore left hamstring.
Brandon Belt, who went 3 for 6 with a homer last month in Toronto, broke a tie with a two-run pinch-hit double in the seventh in Sunday's 4-2 win over the Cardinals. That was just the second win in seven games for San Francisco.