ST. LOUIS -- Both Angel Pagan and Giants manager Bruce Bochy can sense it. Pagan has been slowly getting his confidence at the plate back over the last few days.

"You have to like what Angel's been doing," Bochy said Tuesday. "He's got a little swagger back. Starting in Colorado, he's been real sharp for us."

Prior to the series in St. Louis, Pagan was 7-for-14 with four RBIs in three games against the Rockies. Pagan continued to swing the bat well in Game 1 of a four-game set Monday, going 2-for-4 and belting a homer on the second pitch of the game.

Over that stretch, Pagan's batting average has increased a considerable amount for the first time in nearly two months. The center fielder was batting .283 entering Tuesday after batting .194 from June 13 to Aug. 2.

Bochy said he expects to keep Pagan at the top of the Giants' lineup until his bat cools off.

"I'm just trying to keep things simple, not trying to do too much," Pagan said. "I just want some good at-bats so I get my confidence back, and I feel good at the plate. It's been good for me. I've been doing much better in there. I'm definitely seeing a lot more pitches and having a lot more contact. It's been very helpful for the team, so I just hope that keep doing that every day."

Sandoval getting closer to return from DL

ST. LOUIS -- If all keeps going well in Pablo Sandoval's rehabilitation for his strained left hamstring, the club could have him back in the lineup during its next homestand.

San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said before Tuesday's game in St. Louis that Sandoval will run the bases Wednesday. The plan is to potentially have Sandoval play a game or two in a rehab stint with Class A San Jose when the Giants return to San Francisco at the end of their seven-game road trip.

If Sandoval continues to improve, he could be available by Sunday's series finale against Colorado or for Monday's game against Washington. Bochy said both Sandoval and team athletic trainers will make sure Sandoval is 100 percent before activating him.

"You have to be cautious with game speeds and reaction," Bochy said. "If you're not 100 percent, you're probably going to reinjure it."

In Sandoval's absence, recently acquired third baseman Marco Scutaro has filled in seamlessly. Scutaro, traded to the Giants from Colorado on July 27, is batting .316 (12-for-28) with six RBIs in his 10 games with San Francisco entering Tuesday's action.

Scutaro had hit .271 in 95 games with the Rockies this season. He said Tuesday that he hasn't been doing anything differently at the plate recently.

"They're finding some holes, I guess," Scutaro said. "This has been kind of a weird year just because I've been hitting the ball well with no luck. Sometimes you go through those things, not as long it's been this year. On the other hand, after the ball leaves the bat, you have no control."

After starting nine games at third, Scutaro is penciled in at second base on Tuesday as Bochy wanted to give Ryan Theriot a day off. Prior to joining the Giants, Scutaro had last played third in 2008 for Toronto.

"I'm just here to do whatever they ask me to do," said Scutaro.

Worth noting

• Left-hander Jose Mijares, claimed off waivers from the Royals on Monday, was activated prior to Tuesday's game in St. Louis. To make room for Mijares, the Giants placed reliever Shane Loux on the disabled list with a recurring neck strain.

The 27-year-old Mijares, who will wear No. 50, has held left-handed hitters to a .212 batting average in his career with just five home runs in 260 at-bats. Mijares was 2-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 51 games with Kansas City this year.

• The Giants were batting .364 (20-for-55) with runners in scoring position on their current road trip entering Tuesday. In their previous 11 games, San Francisco hit .218 (19-for-87) with RISP.

• Theriot was batting just .174 (8-for-46) in his past 11 games and was out of the starting lineup Tuesday for the third time since July 22.