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Giants release Brower; more moves to come?

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants released
right-hander Jim Brower following their 5-3 loss to the Cleveland
Indians on Sunday and both manager Felipe Alou and general manager
Brian Sabean promised further changes in the days ahead.

An anticipated move involving a position player was delayed
because Edgardo Alfonzo pulled a muscle trying to beat out a double
play ball in the eighth inning.

"We don't know if we're going to need an infielder now," Alou
said. "We'll have to wait on the move until Tuesday. We might have
to make two moves instead of one."

Right-hander Jesse Foppert was recalled from San Jose of the
California League to take Brower's roster spot.

Foppert appeared in 24 games with the Giants the last two years,
compiling an 8-9 record with a 4.98 ERA. He will start on Tuesday
in Minnesota with Noah Lowry pitching Wednesday and Brett Tomko on
Thursday.

Foppert made nine starts at Triple-A Fresno and was sent to San
Jose in anticipation of a possible move.

Sabean said he would be looking to make further moves as the
July 31 trade deadline looms.

"I'm not looking at the standings, I'm looking at the ways we
can play better," Sabean said. "Anything we can do to improve our
level of play, that's what we are committed to do. There will be a
pitching and position player move. I'm trying to make these guys
incrementally better."

The Giants are 11 games under .500, their worst mark since
Sabean took over following the 1996 season.

Sabean and Alou meet for nearly an hour before the game to
discuss possible changes, with an emphasis on starting pitching.

"The deals we will be looking for is for someone coming here
who has a future," Sabean said. "Given the circumstances, we're
going to be open to anything."

The Giants have had to deal with injuries to their starting
rotation and bullpen, as well as the seasonlong loss of slugger
Barry Bonds.

Staff ace Jason Schmidt is in the midst of a subpar season and
closer Armando Benitez is out for the year after suffering a right
hamstring strain in late April.

"Our No. 1 player is out and that affects the lineup," Sabean
said. "Our No. 1 pitcher is not pitching like a No. 1 and we don't
have the closer we signed.

"Schmidt is still in search of the extra two miles per hour.
He's going to have to cross the bridge to make a change. Being
resourceful and using all his pitches will help."

Both Sabean and Alou cited a starting staff that has failed to
complete six innings 11 times in the past 15 games.

"The offense is not getting the chance to show what they can
do," Alou said. "It's hard to do a lot when you are trailing
early. You do things when you have the lead. If it backfires you
don't look as stupid as when you're behind by three or four runs."

The Giants released Matt Herges earlier in the season. Herges
served as the Giants closer and Brower was the primary set-up man
most of last season.

"When things are going the way they are going some jobs are
going to be lost," Alou said. "What happened to Jimmy I don't
know. His stuff is still there and when I look up at the fastball I
see 94."