CHICAGO -- Hunter Pence has always possessed above-average speed. But whether he's chasing a fly ball in right field or rounding the basepaths, he has looked faster to the naked eye this season.
Pence acknowledged that he feels as if he has gained a step, though there's no foolproof way to measure this.
"I worked on it, put the effort in and I feel like it's paid off," said Pence, who declared during the offseason that gaining speed was a top priority for him.
To achieve that goal, Pence changed his exercise program by lifting lighter weights, executing deep lunges at different angles and performing several one-legged exercises. He also jumped while bearing extra weight, which he said increased his explosiveness.
"Stuff I never did before. Instead of squatting 400 pounds," Pence said.
Pence added that no single exercise helped him the most. Strength and conditioning coach Carl Kochan agreed, though he pointed out that certain drills account for Pence's apparent ability to cover more ground with each stride.
"Some of the things we've been able to do with his hips and core have helped him immensely," Kochan said.
Pence swiped his third base in as many attempts in Sunday's 10-7, 10-inning win over the Cubs. His career high for thefts was 18 in 2010 as a member of the Houston Astros.
Bochy gives Posey partial breather for finale
CHICAGO -- Catcher Buster Posey was rested in the Giants' series finale Sunday against the Chicago Cubs, but he still found his way into San Francisco's 10-7, 10-inning victory.
Posey entered the game as part of a double-switch in the ninth inning before providing the Giants with some insurance by smacking an RBI single in the 10th.
"It seems like [some rest] does a lot more for him," manager Bruce Bochy said before the game, aware that Posey was needing some sort of boost.
Posey's batting average had dipped to .211 after an 0-for-10 skid spanning three games prior to Sunday. If his one at-bat and track record in Milwaukee -- the Giants' next stop -- is any indicator, the reigning National League Most Valuable Player will be just fine.
Posey has thrived in Milwaukee. In seven career games at Miller Park, Posey's batting .500 (12-for-24) with six home runs and 15 RBIs.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.