CHICAGO – A Giants lineup that has scored 50 runs during the first five games of their road trip added two hitters to the mix on Sunday.
The club activated Wilmer Flores from the 10-day injured list and Austin Slater from the seven-day concussion injured list and selected relief pitchers Caleb Berger and John Brebia for Triple-A Sacramento.
Flores missed the last 10 days with a mild left hamstring strain, but he joined the roster in time to start against Cubs left-hander Justin Steele as the Giants extended their longest winning streak of the season to seven games. Looking to increase. Slater has been ruled out for the past week after hitting his head against the center field wall at Oracle Park while chasing the Giants’ Tree Turner home run in a 6-1 loss to the Dodgers on Saturday, Sept. 4.
A handful of other Giants are close to returning to the active roster as left fielder Alex Dickerson and second baseman Donovan Solano both played for Triple-A Sacramento in a rehab game on Saturday. Dickerson is not eligible to return until Tuesday due to a left hamstring strain, while Solano, who tested positive for COVID-19 on August 26, could rejoin the Giants at any time.
Flores has been an everyday player during the 2021 season, but the Giants believe his best role is as a platoon player who will earn most of his starts against a left-handed pitcher. Flores has been a more productive hitter against the Southeasterners throughout his career, but his division has been relatively short this year as well.
Flores’ return will give the Giants a chance to rest first baseman Brandon Belt against lefty Justin Steele on Sunday, although the decision to keep Belt out of the lineup hasn’t been an easy one for manager Gabe Kapler. Belt began his career-high 23rd home run in the Giants’ 15-4 win on Saturday and has posted .962 Ops in 502 plate appearances since the start of the 2020 season.