SAN FRANCISCO -- Though No. 5 starter Matt Cain is surging and No. 4 starter Jake Peavy is struggling, logistics likely will cause Peavy to remain ahead of Cain in the Giants' rotation at least until the All-Star break, manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday.
Bochy pointed out the logistics of flip-flopping a pair of pitchers are more cumbersome than outsiders realize. Keeping the other starters on their regular rest is essential. Thus, a team switching the sequence of its starters typically implements the change in conjunction with a scheduled off-day, since that can help each pitcher receive sufficient rest.
But Bochy reiterated the Giants prefer to use off-days as an opportunity for each starter to receive an additional day of rest. Rarely have they skipped a starter after an off-day. Besides, Bochy added, he believes Peavy (1-5, 8.21 ERA) soon will begin pitching effectively enough to merit keeping his spot in the rotation.
"I think you'll see him get on a roll," Bochy said. Asked how long a leash he's giving Peavy, Bochy responded, "I don't have a leash. That [shows] my confidence in Jake."
Bochy backed Peavy even though the right-hander yielded five runs and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings, matching the second-shortest start of his career, in Friday's series opener. Meanwhile, Cain has a 1.71 ERA in his last three starts.
"Jake is going to be fine," Bochy said. "He had a hiccup in his last start. But he has had some good ones. He's close."
However, Bochy didn't rule out the possibility of altering the rotation following the July 11-14 All-Star break, which historically has been when he has made such adjustments.
• Right fielder Hunter Pence (right hamstring tightness) was out of the Giants' lineup for the second straight game. Bochy reiterated Pence is not seriously injured, remained available to pinch-hit, could have started Sunday had it been absolutely necessary and likely will return to the lineup in the next day or two.
• Though Kelby Tomlinson wasn't presented with any challenging plays during his initial start in left field Saturday, Bochy indicated the utility man's effort was good enough to earn him more starts in this role in the future.
• The Giants announced right-hander Sergio Romo (strained flexor tendon in throwing elbow) will be placed on an injury rehabilitation stint with Triple-A Sacramento on Monday and will throw approximately 20 pitches in an inning Monday against Colorado Springs.