SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval began his rehab assignment with Class A San Jose on Friday night, and manager Bruce Bochy said that if all goes as planned, the All-Star third baseman could rejoin the team Monday to begin the three-game series against the Nationals.

"We'll see how it goes," Bochy said Friday. "He's playing five innings today in San Jose, and if all goes well, then we'll push it to seven. So possibly it could be Monday, but we'll have to evaluate him after tonight's game and tomorrow's game."

Sandoval went 0-for-2 with no defensive chances in five innings at third base on Friday. He has been sidelined since July 25 with a strained left hamstring, which he injured while playing first base. He had been traveling with the team on its recent seven-game road trip before heading to San Jose on Friday.

"I will say that before he went down today, he looked good in St. Louis running the bases," Bochy said. "We checked off every box with him as far as getting him ready to play. Anytime you have an injury, you have to make sure they're ready. Ideally if all goes well, Monday he'll be ready."

Scutaro will stay busy after Sandoval's back

SAN FRANCISCO -- With Pablo Sandoval expected to return sometime after the weekend, Giants manager Bruce Bochy indicated before Friday's game against the Rockies that Marco Scutaro will continue to see regular at-bats, but more in a utility role.

"We'll mix it up," Bochy said. "We'll have some depth, and that's going to be a lot nicer to have where you can sit some guys, rest some guys, and he gives you that flexibility in that you can put him anywhere. I like the at-bats he's been giving us, and if the guy is playing well, swinging well, you find a way to get him in the lineup."

Scutaro has been the primary replacement for the All-Star third baseman after he went down with a left hamstring strain on July 24 while playing first base against the Padres. Scutaro was acquired in a trade a few days later on July 27 from the Rockies, with whom he primarily played second base.

Since arriving to the Giants, Scutaro has batted .346 with 14 RBIs in 13 games, 11 of which he has started at third base. He has also spelled Ryan Theriot at the two-spot in the lineup, which is where Scutaro batted again Friday.

"He's a pro," Bochy said. "He does a great job wherever you put him out on defense, and he hasn't played third base in two, three years and he's done a great job there. He gives you a professional bat, and he's very popular with the guys already. He's a great teammate and he's fit in very nicely."