PHILADELPHIA -- Opting for experience and defensive steadiness over offensive potential, Giants manager Bruce Bochy started Edgar Renteria at shortstop in Saturday night's Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. With Renteria starting, Juan Uribe moved over to third base, forcing Pablo Sandoval to the bench.
Sandoval's uneven performance this season has been well documented. He hit .268 with 13 home runs and 63 RBIs, compared to .330-25-90 last year. But the rotund third baseman contributed a two-run double to the Giants' 6-5 victory in Game 4 and appeared to maintain his balance at the plate, a trait that has eluded him, while going 1-for-4 in San Francisco's 4-2 loss to Philadelphia in Game 5.
Also in Game 5, Sandoval couldn't reach third base in time to record a forceout during Philadelphia's three-run, third-inning uprising. He later committed a ninth-inning throwing error.
"I think it makes us a little stronger on the left side of the infield as far as defense," Bochy said of the Game 6 lineup.
Bochy also cited Renteria's familiarity with Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt. Renteria owned a .243 career regular-season batting average (9-for-37) with two home runs against Oswalt.
Renteria, a 15-year veteran, entered Saturday batting .214 (3-for-14) in five postseason appearances this year. Uribe was hitting .080 (2-for-25) in eight games, but his efforts included an RBI single in Game 1 of the LCS -- though he bruised his left hand sliding into second base on that play.
Uribe did not start two of the following three games, though he came off the bench in Game 4 to deliver a walk-off sacrifice fly in the ninth inning.