Giants hope Pagan can return for weekend set after MRI

Center fielder misses third straight game; Morse also sidelined

Giants hope Pagan can return for weekend set after MRI

PHOENIX -- Giants center fielder Angel Pagan intends to return to the lineup for Friday's series opener against the San Diego Padres, despite missing his third game in a row with back discomfort Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Pagan underwent an MRI on Wednesday, which revealed nothing new. He and the Giants already were aware that he has a bulging disk and inflammation.

"It's a matter of calming it down," said Pagan, who plans to undergo treatment during Thursday's scheduled off-day.

Meanwhile, the rest has helped Pagan, 33, who plays a key role in the team's offense as its leadoff hitter.

"I don't want to miss any more games," the switch-hitter said after the Giants defeated Arizona, 4-2.

The Giants are 56-34 this season in games started by Pagan, who's batting .302 overall.

Manager Bruce Bochy also expressed hopes that first baseman/left fielder Michael Morse, who has missed the last 15 games with a strained left oblique, also can recover enough to play. Bochy explained that though Morse's condition has improved, the fickle nature of oblique injuries has left the slugger reluctant to "let the bat go." Nevertheless, Bochy clung to the possibility that "we'll see a different Morse on Friday."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.