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05/08/12 10:20 PM ET

Giants go with inexperience at third base

LOS ANGELES -- Joaquin Arias started at third base Tuesday night as Giants manager Bruce Bochy tried to construct a lineup that balanced defensive skill with offensive potential. It was the fourth Major League game and second start at third base for Arias, who replaced Conor Gillaspie.

Third-base coach Tim Flannery, who played 243 games at the hot corner during an 11-year Major League career, said that an inexperienced third baseman faces a choice in trying to cope with the position.

"It all depends on your arm strength," Flannery said. "If you don't have the arm strength, you have to play shallow. If you have an arm like [Juan] Uribe, you can get by with playing deep and cover more ground. He has a cannon."

The Giants will be forced to use an inexperienced third baseman whenever Gillaspie doesn't start. Ryan Theriot has played nine games at third base in eight seasons, while Emmanuel Burriss has been stationed there three times in his 227-game Major League career.

Bochy sees a little pressing from Posey

LOS ANGELES -- Though Buster Posey remains about as cool as they come among ballplayers, manager Bruce Bochy believes that the Giants star feels additional pressure to excel when he bats cleanup, which happens to be most of the time.

"I think sometimes Buster tries to put a little added load on himself," Bochy said before Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. "But he's having a nice year. I'm surprised where he is with the bat, with all the time he has missed."

Bochy said that given Posey's production, the issue is so insignificant that he has not raised it with him.

Posey entered Tuesday having hit fourth in all 24 of his starts and in each at-bat but two. Most top cleanup hitters have exceeded the four home runs and 11 RBIs Posey has accumulated. But his .308 batting average and .858 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) from the fourth spot are above average. Those figures also compare favorably with Posey's statistics in 2010, when he batted cleanup in 54 games. He hit .274 with 10 homers, 33 RBIs, a .342 on-base percentage and a .490 slugging average in that role.

Bochy acknowleged that Posey, who has recovered from the left leg injuries that ended his 2011 season on May 25, has played more than anticipated. That's largely due to Hector Sanchez's emergence at catcher and Posey's versatility, which enables him to move from behind the plate to first base.

Pagan shrugs off hitting streak snapping

LOS ANGELES -- Angel Pagan didn't lament the end of his career-high hitting streak, which was halted at 20 games Monday night when he went 0-for-5 in the Giants' 9-1 loss to the Dodgers.

It wasn't about him, anyway.

"I wasn't trying to keep the hitting streak going," Pagan said Tuesday. "I was just trying to help the team. I'm not sad; I'm not worried. I just want to work to be consistent."

The Giants' center fielder and primary leadoff hitter batted .298 during his streak with two doubles, three triples, four homers and seven RBIs during his streak, which matched the eighth-longest in the club's San Francisco (since 1958) era.

Pagan lifted his batting average from .111 to .256 during the streak, which solidified his role.

"The hard work that he put in to find his swing paid off," manager Bruce Bochy said. "You could see it coming. He mixed in some big hits in that streak, too."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.