Selig is set to retire as Commissioner in Jan. 2015

SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Bruce Bochy and left-hander Javier Lopez saluted Commissioner Bud Selig for altering Major League Baseball's landscape during an eventful tenure.

The pair of Giants spoke Thursday after Selig announced that he had finalized plans to retire in January 2015.

"I feel like the game's headed in the right direction and he's been a big part of that," said Lopez, an 11-year veteran, focusing on Selig's efforts to halt performance-enhancing-drug use. "You're seeing the game get back to its pure level," Lopez added. "The competitive balance is a lot better."

Said Bochy, "I think he's left quite a legacy with the changes he has made."

Bochy cited the All-Star Game format, which under Selig became a vehicle for assigning home-field advantage in the World Series. "He's done some good things to create more interest in baseball. He'll be missed."

Lopez observed that Selig presided over one of baseball's most challenging eras, given the drug controversy and work stoppages he endured. Lopez noted that Selig succeeded in helping forge an improved relationship between management and the Players Association, as well as continuing expansion and launching Interleague play.

"It helps to have a commissioner who's willing to take the chance and the opportunity," Lopez said.

'Good chance' Zito will work in relief against Padres

LAD@SF: Zito allows one earned run over five innings

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Zito's five-inning effort Wednesday night probably was his final start with the Giants. But it might not have been his final game.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy indicated after Thursday night's 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers that Zito, whose seven-year, $126 million contract is about to expire, could appear in relief during this weekend's season-ending series against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park.

"There's a good chance he'll be out there," Bochy said.

Zito, who's 5-11 with a 5.75 ERA, was dropped from the starting rotation twice this year but was given Wednesday's assignment to acknowledge the positive attitude he has maintained throughout his uneven Giants career.

Sandoval scratched vs. Dodgers with flu-like symptoms

ARI@SF: Panda smokes an RBI triple into right field

SAN FRANCISCO -- Third baseman Pablo Sandoval was scratched from the Giants' lineup for Thursday night's series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers with flu-like symptoms.

Rookie utility man Nick Noonan replaced Sandoval at third base. Second baseman Tony Abreu and shortstop Brandon Crawford, originally slated to bat seventh and eighth, respectively, each moved up a spot in the batting order as a result of Sandoval's vacating the sixth position.

Paradoxically, Sandoval's illness might have proven timely in one respect. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that Sandoval reported back tightness after Wednesday night's game, when he contributed a two-run homer to the Giants' 6-4 victory over Los Angeles.

On the other hand, Sandoval owns a .462 batting average (6-for-13) against right-hander Edinson Volquez, who started Thursday for the Dodgers.