Giants left-hander Mike Kickham was sent back to Triple-A Fresno to make room for Chad Gaudin, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list and is starting Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Manager Bruce Bochy said it's possible that Kickham starts pitching out of the bullpen down there at some point, but for now the plan is for him to go back into the rotation.

Bochy said he was pleased with the changes Kickham made between his starts and his bullpen appearance for the Giants.

"He used his change-up better and was a little more in rhythm," Bochy said. "I thought he made some progress up here. His last outing was better. We told him that, and gave him some things to work on."

  • The Giants face Clayton Kershaw Sunday and then Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler when the Mets come to town. Some live arms there.

    There's no break for Tim Lincecum. He was originally supposed to face Kershaw and then got bumped back by Thursday's rainout. Instead, he gets Harvey.

    Bochy said Harvey and Kershaw are his two main candidates to start the All-Star Game but he probably won't be swayed by what happens the next couple of days. Based on Bochy's comments on the road trip, I think he's strongly leaning toward Harvey, who would be pitching on his home field.

    Gaudin threw 80 pitches in a bullpen session in Cincinnati so he can go pretty deep today. "He's not limited," Bochy said. "His arm is fine."

    Gaudin (elbow contusion) went on the disabled list June 24.

  • The plan is for Ryan Vogelsong to throw off a mound right after the All-Star break, but it's possible that time frame will be moved up. Vogelsong continues to feel good after playing catch.

  • Barring rainouts, Bochy will have three spots to fill on the National League pitching staff. Jeff Locke, Travis Wood and Adam Wainwright will all start next Sunday and can be replaced. The plan right now is to have Sergio Romo take one of those spots, giving the Giants a fourth All-Star. They can have a fifth if Hunter Pence somehow edges Yasiel Puig in the fan vote.

    For more on the Giants, see Alex Pavlovic's Giants Extra blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/Giants. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/AlexPavlovic.