ATLANTA – Already banged up for the playoff race, the World Series champion San Francisco Giants received another blow Tuesday night when starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez left the game with a sprained left ankle.
The left-hander was hustling to scoop up a sacrifice bunt by Braves pitcher Randall Delgado in the third inning when he slipped in front of the mound, rolling his left ankle before he made an awkward throw to first base from the ground.
Sanchez threw one more pitch, which was nearly over the head of Michael Bourn. He limped off the mound and was replaced by Guillermo Mota.
The Giants, mired in a skid that knocked them out of first place in the NL West, began the day putting two players on the 15-day disabled list: outfielder Carlos Beltran and reliever Sergio Romo.
At least two other players were unavailable for the game against Atlanta, the team they are chasing in the playoff race, because of less-serious ailments.
"We got hit pretty hard," manager Bruce Bochy said. "But we're not the only club. We're not going to make excuses.
Beltran went on the DL retroactive to Aug. 8 with a strained right hand. Romo was disabled retroactive to Aug. 10 with inflammation in his right elbow.
The Giants activated infielder Miguel Tejada off the DL earlier than expected. He was supposed to go on a minor league rehab assignment after missing 25 games with a lower abdominal strain, but the team had to bring him back earlier because of all the injuries.
Infielder Jeff Keppinger was getting an MRI to check out a sprained right wrist. He was hurt Monday night in a collision with Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman.
Outfielders Aaron Rowand and Nate Schierholtz were ruled out of Tuesday's game. Rowand apparently strained a muscle in his rib cage on his last at-bat the previous night, while Schierholtz was left with a painful bruise when he fouled a ball off his right foot.
Pablo Sandoval was able to play after fouling a ball off his right foot. X-rays were negative, and he moved over to start at first base. Tejada started at third.
"Desperate times call for desperate measures," Bochy said. "It's tight right now. We've got to keep it that way."
The Giants went into Tuesday's game 2½ games behind Arizona in the division race and five behind Atlanta for the wild card.
Beltran, who was acquired from the New York Mets before the trade deadline, went to Cleveland for a second opinion. He underwent an additional MRI and received another cortisone shot. The team is hopeful he can start swinging in two or three days and return to the lineup when he's eligible to come off the DL.
"The best thing we could do for him is get another opinion," Bochy said.
Romo returned to San Francisco to be checked out by team doctors. He has pain in the back of his elbow, but Bochy doesn't believe it's anything serious.
Beltran is hitting .284 with 15 homers and 68 RBIs. Romo is a valuable member of the bullpen, going 3-1 with one save and a 1.67 ERA in 53 games.
Left-hander Dan Runzler was called up from Triple-A Fresno.
AP freelance writer Amy Jinkner-Lloyd contributed to this report.