Kontos back from DL; Giants option Blackburn

Kontos back from DL; Giants option Blackburn

SAN DIEGO -- In a wholly anticipated move, the Giants reinstated reliever George Kontos from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday and optioned fellow right-hander Clayton Blackburn back to Triple-A Sacramento.

Kontos, who missed 26 games with a right elbow flexor strain, proved he was fit to return by making four appearances during an injury rehabilitation stint with Sacramento. He allowed one run on five hits in those games while striking out two.

Kontos went on the DL after appearing in eight of San Francisco's first 13 games and recording a 1.59 ERA, though he acknowledged that he initially felt discomfort during Spring Training.

Kontos, 30, makes a habit of staying physically fit year-round. He observed that his stay on the DL, which he called "a little break that was needed," made him even more conscious of maintaining a proper balance between strengthening and resting his arm during the season.

"You want to maximize what you can get out of your body, just being smart and trying to conserve energy where you can through the course of a long season," Kontos said. "I think for the most part I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do to get ready to play in the game."

Blackburn was summoned from Triple-A as a potential innings eater last Thursday, one day after the Giants played 13 innings against Toronto. The rookie did not participate in a game with the Giants, which manager Bruce Bochy regretted. The sudden effectiveness of Jake Peavy and Matt Cain, the last two starters in San Francisco's rotation, kept Blackburn on the bullpen bench during the weekend series in Arizona.

"You always feel bad you couldn't get him in, with all his friends and family there. But that's the way it played out," Bochy said.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.