SAN FRANCISCO - Nine innings later, there was little clarity regarding Johnny Cueto. Manager Bruce Bochy said he'll have more on his hurting ace on Wednesday morning after team doctors have fully examined an MRI. Cueto was put on the disabled list before Tuesday's game with right elbow inflammation.
"We're going to look at the MRI results and decide where we're at with him," Bochy said. "Obviously it's not good news when you have to put him on the DL, but he has felt some soreness there."
Bochy said Cueto has pitched through discomfort his past two starts, and he credited him with being such a fierce competitor. Cueto ended the month of April with an MLB-leading 0.84 ERA. He dealt with flexor discomfort in the same elbow last season but returned to pitch down the stretch.
Bochy couldn't give a timetable Tuesday night, saying that'll be determined by doctors. The manager's tone indicated he does not expect good news, although that could have been related to the way the Giants lost a few minutes earlier. Hunter Strickland gave up a solo shot in the top of the ninth and the Giants fell 3-2.
The Eric Hosmer homer brought a bitter end to a concerning day at AT&T Park. The Giants are already without Madison Bumgarner, likely for another six weeks or so, and any extended absence by Cueto could put them in a deep hole in a division that's threatening to become a boat race for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
There was one bit of shining light, though. Andrew Suarez stepped in as a spot starter and allowed two runs in seven sharp innings. He needed just 84 pitches to get through his second career start.
"What a great job he did," Bochy said. "Seven really solid innings, he pounded the strike zone, and was really efficient. He had good stuff. The fastball, he spotted it well. A good breaking ball and good changeup out there with good poise. That's really encouraging to see, especially now with Johnny on the DL."
Suarez did not know about Cueto's condition until after the game. He expected to be up here for just one day, but it should now be a lock that Suarez is on an upcoming three-city road trip. He'll need to fill in for Cueto at least a couple of times. The Giants hope it's nothing beyond that.