Pablo Sandoval's missing presence in the Giants' lineup was prevalent throughout a rare losing homestand.
That's why the Giants are so excited to get Sandoval's big bat back in the lineup for a crucial 10-game road trip beginning today in Los Angeles against the rival Dodgers.
"We've always fed off of his high energy," catcher Buster Posey said. "When he's swinging the bat well he can definitely be a game-changer."
That was missing as Sandoval was sidelined by a left foot strain during a 3-4 homestand that ended with a 7-2 loss to the Miami Marlins on Sunday.
Hunter Pence's homer in the finale was the only longball hit all week by the Giants — not counting the two Sandoval hit on a rehab assignment for Class A San Jose — and San Francisco allowed 10 home runs, including a pair by Justin Ruggiano on Sunday.
Sandoval will be activated from the disabled list today as he returns to the lineup for the first time since getting injured June 8.
"He's a big bat, presence in the lineup," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Hopefully he'll take a little pressure off the other guys trying to do too much. Any time you're missing a guy that's hitting in the heart of the order it does make it a little tougher. Hopefully he will spark this lineup."
Ruggiano started his big day with a leadoff home run against Matt Cain (5-4) and ended it with a two-run shot in the ninth inning as the Marlins won for the 10th time in their last 11 games in San Francisco.
Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) held the Giants in check into the seventh inning and Marcell Ozuna hit an RBI double and solo homer as Miami wrapped up its first winning road trip of the season.
The defending World Series champion Giants dropped three of four at home to the team with the worst record in the National League, scoring just eight runs in the four games.
The Giants went 3-4 on the homestand that started with three games against San Diego, marking their first losing homestand since going 3-7 from July 23-Aug. 2 last summer. San Fracisco had won or split the last 10 homestands.
"You can try to make excuses but really we didn't get the job done," Cain said. "We didn't get some guys in when we needed to and we didn't throw the ball like we needed to. We had some games where we had the lead and we didn't finish it off. You have to kind of just say it's over with and move on now."