UPDATED: Posey handles first play at the plate with aplomb


UPDATED: Posey handles first play at the plate with aplomb

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. There was a collective lump in thethroat and a catch of breath Friday night. Buster Posey was involved in a playat the plate.

For the first time since the May 25 collision that wreckedhis ankle and ruined the Giants season, Posey stood ready to receive a throwwith a runner bearing down on him.

He positioned himself a little further in front of theplate, caught a strong heave from center fielder Angel Pagan, turned and lungedas he applied a swipe tag to Mitch Moreland.

Moreland was safe. More importantly, so was Posey.

Predictably, the Giants cleanup-hitting catcher did notmake a big fuss over the play in the fifth inning Friday night. It might haverepresented a major emotional moment for a fan base, and perhaps some of his teammates,too. But not for him.

I was more thinking kind of about the work wed done thisspring and all the practice and stuff, Posey said. And I think I think itwas good.

Posey immediately called timeout and went to the mound -- notto settle down his own nerves, but to check on left-hander Madison Bumgarner,who had allowed three consecutive singles.

He was just giving me a breather, Bumgarner said. I wasmaking good pitches and he wanted to make sure I wasnt getting frustrated.

Bumgarner needed the moment to process what hed just seen,though. He saw the play unfolding and flashed back to May 25, when ScottCousins delivered his targeted, ankle-snapping, shoulder-on-shoulder hit.

Oh yeah, yeah, definitely, Bumgarner said. I was thinkingit the whole time. I didnt think itd be that close until I saw the throwcoming in. It was in the back of my mind, for sure.

Because Posey is setting up further in front of the plate, the Giants might give up a few runs on close plays at the plate. Bumgarner is fully aware of that -- and he's fully OK with it, too.

"One run's not worth him missing the whole year again," Bumgarner said.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has said that Poseys instinctswould take over on plays at the plate. Posey said other than setting up a stepfurther into fair territory, he didnt change much about his technique.

But even last year, Id position myself in front of theplate, he said. So I dont think its that big of a change for me, to behonest with you.

I think its sometimes tough to visualize it because everythrow and every play is different. You might get a short hop or a long hop oryou might go to your left or right. But as much as possible, you try tosimulate in practice what youll get in a game.

Bochy approved of the way Posey handled the play, with one critique.

"We talked about it and the tag could've been a little lower," Bochy said. "But I thought he was in good position to make a swipe tag."

Bochy rolled his eyes a bit when asked about the significance of the play.

"It's baseball. You'll have plays at the plate," Bochy said. "He'll have more plays and he'll get more comfortable with each one. You move on. We'll continue to work on these plays at the plate. I'll say this: He spent a long time recovering. He knows there will be plays and there might be contact."

Posey wasnt sure if umpire Derryl Cousins made the rightcall until Bochy went back to check the replay. Posey said he tagged Moreland high, but he was hook-sliding so perhaps hegot his hand across the plate before the tag.

Still, Posey had no complete assurance that Moreland wouldhook-slide. If Posey had any hesitation, he didnt show it as he left his feetbriefly while lunging to apply the tag.

Moreland's view: "With two outs, I did everything I could to get in there. He gave me the plate. That's why I slid across the outer half. He gave me the plate. There wasn't going to be any collision."

Posey looked good and blocked several balls in the dirtwhile catching six innings. He is on the schedule to start at first base Friday the first time all spring that he will play defense on consecutive days. He saidhis ankle is ready to handle an increased workload, including catching nineinnings and going back-to-back days.

The Giants play day games after night games four times intheir first 10 contests of the season; theyll have 39 of those quick turngames in all this season.

Posey said he hopes to play in many of those.

Its hard to tell until you do it, he said. But from theway my ankles felt so far this spring, Im optimistic I will be able to.

Giants start off quick, but Phillies rough up Blach to power past San Francisco

Giants start off quick, but Phillies rough up Blach to power past San Francisco


SAN FRANCISCO -- Ty Kelly doesn't play much, but he's learned to make the most of his opportunities.

"He's my secret weapon," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

Mackanin summoned him at the most opportune of times on Saturday night, and Kelly delivered.

Kelly had a pinch-hit grand slam, Rhys Hoskins hit a three-run homer and Philadelphia snapped a six-game losing streak, beating the San Francisco Giants 12-9.

"I take anything positive, but that was pretty amazing," Kelly said.

Down 12-4, the Giants scored five times in the ninth inning and brought the tying run to the plate before Hector Neris struck out Carlos Moncrief for his 14th save.

Adam Morgan (1-1) threw just one pitch and got the win.

Kelly batted for Morgan and hit a slam off Cory Gearrin that capped a seven-run burst in the sixth inning for an 11-4 lead. He has 14 RBIs on 14 hits this year.

"The one thing he does is he doesn't overswing," Mackanin said. "He doesn't try to do too much and he's got some quickness in his bat. If you make a mistake like they did tonight, he doesn't try to overpower, he just tries to put the head on it and that's what he did tonight."

Denard Span became the first Giants player to lead off with an inside-the-park home run in 72 years. The last Giant to do it was Johnny Rucker on June 20, 1945, when the team played in New York and was at the Polo Grounds against the Boston Braves, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Ty Blach (8-9) took the loss.

Cameron Rupp homered and doubled, and Freddy Galvis had three hits for the Phillies.

Rupp doubled off Blach with one out to start the sixth, with Span losing the high flyball to center field. The ball landed in front of him.

"He lost it. He never saw it in the twilight," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "The ball is tough to pick up at that time of the night."

Giants star Buster Posey was 1 for 4, extending his hitting streak against the Phillies to 21 games going back to 2014.

Hoskins homered for the fourth time in seven games. Since going hitless in his first 12 at-bats after being called up from Triple-A, the rookie is 7 for 21 with four home runs in seven games.

His power surge has coincided with his team making a trip to the Bay Area, near where he grew up in the Sacramento area. He had about 35 to 40 friends and relatives at Saturday's game.

"I grew up a Giants fan, to play in this ballpark is pretty special," Hoskins said. "It's something that I dreamt of, especially to get a win the way we did tonight is pretty cool."

Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin's status for his next turn in the rotation is uncertain after the 23-year-old reported tightness in right shoulder, Mackanin said. ... RHP Ben Lively is with the team and will be activated before Sunday's game to start the series finale, Mackanin said. Lively will take the roster spot of outfielder Odubel Herrera, who on Friday was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury (retroactive to Aug. 15). Lively will take RHP Mark Leiter's spot in the rotation in a move that sends Leiter to the bullpen.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto will pitch in a rehab assignment for Triple-A Sacramento on Monday and likely make one more rehab start before being activated, manager Bruce Bochy said. Cueto has been on the disabled list since July 15 with blisters on his right hand. He will throw 50 to 60 pitches on Monday, Bochy said.

Phillies: Lively (1-4, 3.80 ERA) recorded his lone career win against the Giants on June 3, when he gave up one run in seven innings of four-hit ball. Lively was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on pitch in the majors for the first time since July 5.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (3-5, 2.99) is 4-3 with a 3.60 ERA in nine career starts against the Phillies. He was 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA in two starts against the Phillies last season.

Giants lineup: After 10 runs vs Phillies, Bochy sticks with his guys


Giants lineup: After 10 runs vs Phillies, Bochy sticks with his guys

The Giants scored early and often Friday night, giving Bruce Bochy no reason to switch anything up Saturday in San Francisco.

Philadelphia Phillies (43-77)

1. Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
2. Freddy Galvis (S) SS
3. Nick Williams (L) CF
4. Rhys Hoskins (R) LF
5. Maikel Franco (R) 3B
6. Jorge Alfaro (R) 1B
7. Cameron Rupp (R) C
8. Cameron Perkins (R) RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff (R) P

San Francisco Giants (50-74)

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Hunter Pence (R) RF
3. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Ryder Jones (L) 1B
8. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
9. Ty Blach (R) P