PHOENIX -- Just a few quick updates on the health front for the Giants ...Buster Poseys rehab remains on track. Everyone is optimistic that hell be ready for spring training. And according to manager Bruce Bochy, everyone is in agreement that Posey should and will be playing behind the plate when he returns.Theres been plenty of talk about getting Posey out of the crouch, thereby reducing the risk of him absorbing the type of shot that knocked him out for the season, and his athleticism is such that he could no doubt transition to another position with relative ease. Hes already shown hes an above-average first baseman, and he was a shortstop as a college freshman.Bochy and the rest of the Giants brain-trust, however, are in no hurry to waste his intellect, which is best put to use behind the plate.No small factor in this: Posey is adamant about returning as a catcher. Has been since his first comment after the injury.Bochy left the door ajar for a position change down the road, but as of now, he said during batting practice, its status quo. As long as hes physically able, Posey, who had been squatting to receive balls from a pitching machine while rehabbing in Arizona, will again don the tools of ignorance in 2012. Bochy also provided brief updates on outfielder Nate Schierholtz (broken foot) and lefty Jonathan Sanchez (sprained ankle). The former will take batting practice with the team Saturday, and Sanchez was scheduled to do some flat-ground throwing Friday. Neither, however, is expected to return to action this season.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The blisters on Johnny Cueto's middle and index fingers that limited his effectiveness in his last few starts haven't yet completely healed.
But the two-time All-Star is learning to pitch with them.
Cueto threw six strong innings and Brandon Crawford drove in three runs as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Sunday.
Cueto (5-4) bounced back from his roughest stretch as a Giant. He was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four starts.
"They're not bothering me like they were before," Cueto said through a translator. "I'm just getting used to it but I have to continue pitching until they get better."
The Giants won their third straight home series and posted their 11th victory in 18 games overall.
Crawford's two-run single highlighted a four-run second against R.A. Dickey (3-4) that made it 6-0.
Matt Kemp had three hits for Atlanta. But the Braves couldn't get much going against Cueto, who allowed one run on six hits and a walk. Cueto struck out eight, including five in a row at one point.
"He did what he needed to do to get us out," Kemp said. "We had chances to score runs and we didn't. I think in this series we really didn't do a good score of scoring runs."
Dickey allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks in six innings.
"This can be a challenging place to throw because of the wind because it swirls so much," Dickey said.
Cueto had two productive at-bats, bunting a runner to second in the second inning and driving in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third.
"It's always nice to have a lead and I thought Johnny was the sharpest he'd been this year," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "Hopefully it's something he can build on. The changeup was working really well and his command of the fastball was really good."
Posey was 0 for 2 with two walks. He hasn't struck out in 55 consecutive plate appearances.
The Giants scored the game's first run when Nunez came around from third when a knuckleball glanced off catcher Kurt Suzuki glove in the bottom of the first. The play was ruled a passed ball. Asked if he had any empathy for the plight of his counterpart, Posey said "Yes, no question. It's not fun to hit, it doesn't look fun to catch, either."
Hernandez made a diving catch in the gap in left-center robbing Emilio Bonifacio of an extra-base hit with one out in the seventh inning.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner will start his throwing program on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Bumgarner will start out playing catch and make five rehab starts. The 2014 World Series MVP suffered a separated left shoulder in a dirt biking accident. "The progress is happening," Bochy said. "I think he sees light at the end of the tunnel." ... Slumping rookie INF Christian Arroyo was out of the lineup on Sunday and his playing status appears uncertain. Arroyo, who turns 22 on Tuesday, is 0 for 19 in his last five games. "I'll talk to him, about what his situation is," Bochy said. "I'm definitely planning on giving him a couple of days" off.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will make his first career start against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. He is 3-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 15 career interleague starts.
Giants: LHP Matt Moore will face the Nationals for the second time in his career. He was with Tampa Bay when he gave up two runs in five innings against Washington in 2012.
The Giants look to win two straight against the Braves and Bruce Bochy has made a few changes to the lineup Sunday.
Atlanta Braves (21-26)
1. Ender Inciarte (L) CF
2. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
3. Nick Markakis (L) RF
4. Matt Kemp (R) LF
5. Matt Adams (L) 1B
6. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
7. Rio Ruiz (L) 3B
8. Dansby Swanson (R) SS
9. R.A. Dickey (R) P
San Francisco Giants (21-30)
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Eduardo Nunez (R) 3B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Justin Ruggiano (R) RF
7. Joe Panik (L) 2B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P