Posey makes All-Star voting history

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Posey makes All-Star voting history

SAN FRANCISCO Buster Posey couldnt walk at this time ayear ago. Many wondered if hed ever catch again.

Now hes going to start behind the plate for the NationalLeague in the All-Star Game.

Posey didnt just hold off the Cardinals Yadier Molina to winthe balloting at his position. He didnt just lead all NL players with7,621,370 votes. His total was the highest by an NL player in history.

Yeah, its kind of hard to wrap my head around it rightnow, Posey said.

Giants fans stuffed the ballot box at every position toelect outfielder Melky Cabrera and third baseman Pablo Sandoval. But thesupport was even broader for Posey, whose comeback from last years devastatingankle injury resonated with fans outside San Francisco as well.
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Did Posey ever envision being an All-Star during those threemonths after he broke his leg, tore three ankle ligaments and required tworeconstructive surgeries?

Ah, probably not, Posey said. At this point last year Iwas concerned with getting healthy and getting back on the field. Thats whyIm enjoying every bit of this season.

Im obviously really excited. Its little overwhelming. Ijust thank all the fans that voted. Theyre the ones who make this special forus. Its gonna be a blast. You dont think about it that much, but when ithappens, its humbling. As long as I can remember, I watched the All-Star Gameand the home run derby. Its a bit surreal to think Ill be in one.

Theres plenty surreal about catching a knuckleball,and Posey will have to learn quickly. Theres a good chance hell catch theMets R.A. Dickey, who is among the top candidates to start the game.

RELATED: Giants fans rock the vote, elect three All-Star starters

Who knows? Maybe Giants right-hander Matt Cain, anotherAll-Star, should start throwing a knuckler so Posey can practice.

Right? Cain said. I was telling him, Youd better startworking on it, learn how to block it.

Said Posey: Well see what happens.

Posey entered Sunday with a .298 average, 10 home runs and41 RBIs. Molina, who was named as a reserve, was hitting .312 with 13 homers.Philadelphias Carlos Ruiz is having a better season than either of them; heleads the NL with a .356 average and has 11 homers with 43 RBIs.

Ruiz was named as a reserve as well.

But they dont have Poseys story of perseverance, whichclearly mattered to voters. Hes the Giants first NL top vote getter sinceBarry Bonds.

Hes a great player whos beloved in this city, Giantsmanager Bruce Bochy said.

The Giants have done their best to pace Posey, starting himat first base 10 times and four more at designated hitter.

Physically, I feel great, Posey said. Its kind of hardto believe were almost at the halfway point. Im excited for the second half.In six or eight weeks, its going to get really fun coming down the wire andIm looking forward to it.

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

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USATSI

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Cueto pitched 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. The two-time All-Star was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four starts.

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.

The Giants scored their first run in the first inning on a passed ball by Kurt Suzuki, who was handling Dickey's knuckleballs.

Eduardo Nunez and Gorkys Hernandez each had two hits for the Giants. Joe Panik tripled to start the second-inning burst.

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.

Dickey allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks.

Giants catcher Buster Posey was 0 for 2 with two walks. He hasn't struck out in 55 consecutive plate appearances.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips left the game in the top of the fifth for pinch-hitter Jace Peterson. Phillips fouled a ball off his foot in his last at-bat in the third.

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.

UP NEXT:
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will make his first career start against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. Teheran 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.

Giants lineup: Posey catching, Nunez at third base against Braves

Giants lineup: Posey catching, Nunez at third base against Braves

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