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TOR@BOS: Cabrera singles home first run of the game

When the Giants visit Toronto for the first time in three years on Tuesday, it'll be a special day for one member of the Blue Jays.

Prior to the game, former Giant Melky Cabrera will be presented with his 2012 World Series ring.

"That's a big blessing God sent me," Cabrera said on Sunday through interpreter Luis Rivera. "They called me and they told me that they would give me a ring. I asked them to ship it and they said, 'No, we're going to give it to you when we go to Toronto.' It's special for me."

After that, however, it's down to business for the 28-year-old, who will face his former team for the first time since departing in the offseason as a free agent.

"I'm going to play my game like I always do," said Cabrera, who's found his stroke of late, hitting .333 over his last 10 games. "I know I'm going to see a lot of my friends there, and I'm going to say 'hi' to those guys, but I've got to continue to play the game I have been doing so far."

He'll be going up against former teammate Barry Zito, who has been excellent all season save for a nine-run outing on April 16, against the Brewers. Over his other six starts, he has surrendered only three earned runs.

In his previous outing, against the Phillies, he was masterful, allowing only four baserunners in seven innings and one earned run, striking out three.

"I just let them get themselves out," Zito said after that game. "It's important to get them swinging the bat and not let them get the free pass. I wanted to make them earn it."

His only error came on a home run by former Giant Kevin Frandsen.

"Obviously, you don't ever want to give up a home run," Zito said. "But if I'm going to give one up, I'd rather it be my friend than somebody I don't know or don't really care about."

Taking the mound for Toronto will be ace R.A. Dickey, who is still looking for the command that he had last season despite wielding his unpredictable knuckleball.

In his most recent start, Dickey allowed five walks for the second time this season, something he hadn't done since April 8, 2011, while with the Mets.

"I'm falling into the pattern of a traditional knuckleballer where there's less than a hit per inning but you have a lot of walks and you have some strikeouts," Dickey said after that outing. "That's really not my personality with the pitch normally. I'm much more efficient usually.

"I've got to try and figure out a way to repeat my delivery in a way that will allow me to throw more strikes, because that's who I am as a knuckleballer, and I need to get back to that and stick my face in there and try to figure it out."

Despite the walks, Dickey allowed only three runs -- two earned -- in six innings, with five strikeouts for his fifth quality start in eight outings.

Blue Jays: Cabrera playing through hamstring woes
Cabrera's recent success is coming despite some nagging issues in his legs.

"My legs are a little sore," said Cabrera, who went 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI in Sunday's 12-4 victory over the Red Sox. "My hamstrings are a little tight, but I'm going to give it whatever I have that day. I want to be in the lineup every day, no matter what. That's why I continue to play."

Despite the lingering issues, Cabrera has begun to show some signs of life after a poor start to the year.

"I'm feeling better," he said. "I'm showing up early every day to get my work done in the cage, and I'm going to go out and continue to play hard."

Giants: Panda healthy after HBP
Pablo Sandoval avoided a scare on Saturday. The third baseman underwent X-rays after being struck in the right wrist by a Paul Maholm pitch during the fifth inning of the game against the Braves.

Luckily for both the Giants and Sandoval, the results were negative.

"He's going to be a little sore," manager Bruce Bochy said. "I'm a little concerned, obviously, when you get hit there."

Sandoval remained in the game but left as part of a double switch after grounding out in the seventh inning.

He felt well enough to start Sunday's series finale, and even chipped in with his sixth home run of the season.

Sandoval, who missed 99 games over the previous two seasons, has only missed one this year and is batting .383 with three home runs and eight RBIs in his last 15 games.

Worth noting
• This is the first Interleague series for both squads. Last season the Giants went 7-8 and the Blue Jays 9-9 in Interleague Play. San Francisco is 8-4 all-time against Toronto, and 3-3 at Rogers Centre. These teams last met in Toronto in 2010, with the Blue Jays taking two of three. Comments