Crawford out of lineup vs. Cubs with tight oblique

Crawford out of lineup vs. Cubs with tight oblique

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford was out of the lineup for Wednesday's 4-2 win over the Cubs with tightness in his left oblique and could miss Thursday's series finale as as well, manager Bruce Bochy said.

Bochy pulled Crawford prior to the start of the eighth inning of Tuesday's 8-5 loss to Chicago after the infielder felt his side stiffen following a swing-and-miss in the sixth. The 28-year-old battled Cubs' starter Jake Arrieta with a 12-pitch at-bat, but whiffed on the final pitch.

"I assume it was the last [swing]," Crawford said. "I felt it when I was walking out into the field afterwards."

Crawford stayed in the game and turned a double play to end the top of the seventh inning.

The Giants All-Star shortstop suffered a right oblique strain in the final game of the 2013 season and said the discomfort he's feeling is not as bad as that of his prior injury.

"This one feels a little more mild," Crawford said.

The Giants skipper said he's encouraged that Crawford's pain didn't worsen since Tuesday night.

"The fact that it didn't get any worse, that's good news," Bochy said. "You've got to be careful with that side so it doesn't turn into an oblique pull. Our hope is it's just a two-day deal."

Worth noting

Angel Pagan (right patella tendinitis) went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored in a rehab start Tuesday with Triple-A Sacramento. He played eight innings and was expected to play a full game with the River Cats on Wednesday.

Bochy said Pagan could return to the team as early as Thursday.

"He was running well," Bochy said. "He'll play again tonight, get four at-bats and probably join us tomorrow."

Joe Panik took 25 swings off a tee Tuesday and fielded ground balls on Wednesday.

"The fact that he's doing all of the baseball activities now … that's good news," Bochy said.

Tim Hudson has not faced live hitters since throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings in a rehab start with San Jose on Aug. 14, but Bochy said, "There may be a point where we do it soon."

Gregor Blanco was scratched from the Giants lineup Wednesday night with a left hip strain. San Francisco will turn to Juan Perez to man center field until Pagan or Blanco returns.

Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.