EXTRA BAGGS: Giants' relief committee slices and dices, etc.

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EXTRA BAGGS: Giants' relief committee slices and dices, etc.

CHICAGO Its hard to feel confident in acloser-by-committee approach whenever a team tries to employ it down thepennant stretch. But so far, Giants relievers mostly are missing their thumbswhen they slam their gavels.

Even though the road is always more stressful for thebullpen, the Giants recorded saves in each of their victories while going 5-1 ontheir road trip to Minute Maid Park and Wrigley Field.

Bruce Bochy matched em up and right-hander Sergio Romo gotthe save three times. Left-hander Javier Lopez earned two, both with double-playgrounders including one to bring an end to affairs in Sunday afternoons 7-5victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Bochy knew hed have to put on his salesmans hat when hemet with the relievers Aug. 6 in St. Louis, and informed them that they wouldform a closer by committee for the remainder of the season.

As any door-to-door vacuum peddler could tell you, nothingsells like seeing the product in action.

Given the committee's success, does Bochy believe the relievers are buying into it now?

Yeah, I do, the manager said. Theyre fine with it. Itsabout trying to win ballgames. Theyre all in on that and they put their egosaside and what a job they did (Sunday).

Its so important that they buy into doing whatever theycan to win a ballgame, and not get caught up in whos getting the save or holdor whatever.

The Giants are 66-2 when they lead after eight innings, and7-5 when theyre tied after eight. So the bullpen remains more an asset than aliability, for sure.

BAGGARLY: Giants are loose, confident as they hit stretch drive

Lopez wasnt ready to compose an aria to the committeeapproach yet, though.

Its working out pretty well so far, said Lopez, who hasntbeen charged with a run in 23 consecutive appearances. Obviously, the resultshave been there. Its nice to have (Sergio) Romo to fall back on and (Santiago)Casilla already proven he can get righties or lefties out. I think all thepieces are in place.

Its the way well go into this month and hopefully thepostseason. Its what we have to get used to regardless of any personal opinionwe may have.

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Bochy made a good point about Matt Cain, who was pulledafter five innings and 91 pitches: The lightened load should benefit him.

Cain threw 118 pitches in his previous start at Houston andhad been over 100 twice before that, too.

One more item worth pointing out: Because the Giants get abreak on Thursday, Cain will have an extra day of rest before his next start.And Cain has been much less hittable when given an extra day of rest thisseason.

In 14 starts on regular rest, he has a 3.28 ERA and a .258opponents average (92 hits in 93 13 innings).

In 10 starts on one extra day of rest, he has a 2.45 ERA anda .180 opponents average (46 hits in 73 13 innings).

One more fact to mention: Cains next start will comeSaturday against the Dodgers.

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Itll be another new experience for Xavier Nady when hemakes his home debut as a Giant on Monday. The Salinas native and Cal alum isalready getting blitzed for tickets from family and friends.

Nady will have a new number, clubhouse manager Mike Murphypromised. The only Giant ever to wear No. 68, Nady will switch to No. 12 lastworn by Danvilles Nate Schierholtz, another player who grew up going to Giantsgames.

Nady wore his pulling guards number very well over twogames. First came the three-run double in Saturdays debut. Then he doubled andwalked twice to start all three of the Giants scoring rallies in Sundayscome-from-behind victory.

Yet when asked if he should think about hanging on to No. 68,the ballplayer good-naturedly lectured the media about being superstitious.

Hopefully its not the jersey that affects you, Nady said.

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The Giants are set to renew their player development contract with Triple-A Fresno, according to David Taub of Fresno-based Taub Sports.

Giants notes: Belt gets start in left field; Span 'day-to-day'

Giants notes: Belt gets start in left field; Span 'day-to-day'

DENVER -- Brandon Belt spent some time Sunday morning playing balls off the wall at Coors Field to get accustomed to life as a left fielder. He used to borrow Javier Lopez's glove, but with Lopez retired, Belt snagged a Chad Chop BP glove. It's an outfield glove that Chop said was a gift from Tim Lincecum, and it's apparently from Japanese Nike, whatever that means. 

Belt looked back fondly on his one day in left field last year in Arizona. 

"I was amazing," he said. "I had one Defensive Run Saved."

It's true, he did. Belt made a nice running catch that he brought up as reporters were talking to Denard Span.

"I don't remember that," Span said. 

"I ran into the fence but I stayed in the game," Belt replied. 

Span smiled and admitted he had no comeback. An X-ray came back negative after Span's collision Saturday, and he's hopeful he'll only miss a few days. If it's more than that, the Giants will put him on the 10-day DL. Span had a similar issue with his SC joint in 2012 and missed several weeks. 

"It's a little sore," he said. "Right now I'm day-to-day. The good thing is I've got range of motion."

Span said he immediately thought of Jarrett Parker as he hit the wall. He knew the injury wasn't as bad as Parker's, but "I knew something didn't feel right."

With Span out, Gorkys Hernandez starts in center and Hunter Pence is the backup there. This could be the start of some serious roster juggling. Bochy said the staff has talked about getting Belt more time in left so Buster Posey and Nick Hundley, who is swinging it well, can both start. Eduardo Nuñez is one possibility. Michael Morse and Mac Williamson are not ready yet. Drew Stubbs could be the first one up; he has looked great, according to the reports Bochy is getting. 

"We'll go day-to-day and see how it goes," Bochy said. 

--- If you missed it last night, Bochy isn't thrilled with his starting pitchers, and for good reason. You can talk about Hernandez and Chris Marrero and all that until you're blue in the face, but the resources have been spent on the rotation, and it's been an issue on and off field.

 

In series of roster moves, Mariners call up former Giants pitcher

In series of roster moves, Mariners call up former Giants pitcher

Chris Heston is back in the major leagues.

The former Giants pitcher was recalled as part of a flurry of roster moves by the struggling Mariners prior to Sunday's game against the A's in Oakland.

First baseman Dan Vogelbach was also recalled, while outfielder Leonys Martin was designated for assignment and pitcher Chase De Jong was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.

Heston was traded by the Giants to Mariners in December for a player to be named later.

In parts of three seasons with the Giants, Heston went 13-12 with a 4.16 ERA and 148 strikeouts in 188 innings.