Linden sent to Fresno

Updated: June 15, 2004, 11:04 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ray Durham is confident he gave his body plenty of time to heal during his second stint on the disabled list this season.

Durham was activated from the 15-day DL Tuesday and was in the lineup leading off and playing second base in the opener of the San Francisco Giants' three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 32-year-old Durham had a left hamstring strain after spending April 28 to May 12 on the DL with a strained patellar tendon in his left knee. He was sidelined twice last season, too, marking the first time in his career he'd missed significant time because of injury.

"I'm ready to go," said Durham, who played five games with Triple-A Fresno on a rehabilitation assignment. "I played five games with no problems. It was hot down there, which made it easier to get loose and stay loose. I'll see tonight how cool it gets and maybe do more stretching and running between innings."

Durham batted 8-for-14 (.571) with a triple, a home run and five RBIs for Fresno.

To make room for Durham, the Giants optioned outfielder Todd Linden to Fresno.

Giants manager Felipe Alou had considered hitting Durham in a different spot in his first few games back, but instead opted to stick with Durham in his regular position. He might still be moved around in the order.

"We've given him a lot of time -- what was it, three weeks?" Alou said. "I was thinking of him in another place in the lineup but since he's coming back I have him in his usual leadoff spot."

Michael Tucker, who batted leadoff in Durham's absence, was in the No. 2 hole Tuesday.

"It's good for us getting back healthy," Tucker said. "For pretty much a good portion of the year we haven't had our consistent lineup out there. It doesn't matter (where I hit). You have to do your job."

The Giants still are without first baseman J.T. Snow, who is on the DL recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Snow may begin a rehab assignment as soon as next week.

Injured closer Robb Nen, who is back home in Southern California resting his troublesome throwing shoulder, is scheduled to return to San Francisco on Wednesday to be re-evaluated by team doctors. Nen didn't pitch all last season as he recovered from three shoulder surgeries.

"He's homesick for the ballpark," trainer Stan Conte said. "I don't expect him to pick up a baseball for a little bit longer."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press