05/13/12 9:29 PM ET
Culberson called up, makes Major League debut
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
But after an early Sunday morning phone call and a flight to Phoenix, Culberson made his Major League debut, playing second base against the D-backs with all of his immediate family in attendance at Chase Field.
The Giants recalled Culberson and optioned infielder Conor Gillaspie to Fresno to make the move official.
"I wasn't expecting anything; it was definitely a surprise," Culberson said. "[Manager Bruce] Bochy told me I was starting and I was definitely pumped about that."
Along with his wife, Sarah, who is due Oct. 3, Culberson's father, Charles, mother, Kim, and sister, Chelce, flew in from Atlanta on short notice Sunday morning to watch the game.
"They wouldn't miss it," Culberson said. "My dad worked his magic. Atlanta to Phoenix is a pretty common flight. He always told me he'd be here no matter what, whatever it took to get here. It's nice to have everyone here."
Charles Culberson was a 16th-round Draft pick of the Giants and played five seasons but didn't ever make the Majors.
Charlie Culberson was the 51st overall pick in the 2007 Draft. He struggled adjusting to professional baseball in his first two full Minor League seasons, batting .234 and .246.
He turned it around after that and at the time of his callup was batting .284 with five homers and 24 RBIs in 26 games at Fresno.
"My first couple years were learning years, but I kind of liked it," Culberson said. "I went through a lot of struggles that helped me become the ballplayer I am today. I am still fairly young. It's nice to get some of those struggles out so I know what to expect and how to handle emotions."
Bochy liked the reports he had been getting on the 23-year-old before Sunday.
"He's been playing well," Bochy said. "Doing a good job at second base, good range and swinging the bat well. He stays in the middle of the field. He does a nice job with the hitting."
Giants find success with pink bats
PHOENIX -- Three Giants -- Gregor Blanco, Hector Sanchez and Brandon Crawford -- used pink bats Sunday stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo for Mother's Day.
The gesture appeared to bring good fortunes to the players as they batted a combined 5-for-12 with four RBIs and four runs scored in a 7-3 series-clinching victory over the D-backs at Chase Field.
"I did it for Mother's Day and the things that symbolizes," Crawford said. "I did it for my mom. I texted her earlier."
Sergio Romo, who struck out the side in the ninth inning, wore pink cleats to show his support while others donned wristbands, necklaces and batting gloves.
Posey gets day off in Arizona finale
PHOENIX -- Giants catcher Buster Posey wasn't in the lineup Sunday for the first time since May 2. Manager Bruce Bochy felt the 25-year-old needed the day to regroup.
"He needed the rest," Bochy said. "I could see he needed the rest; I was planning on it."
Posey hasn't sat out an entire game since April 23. He pinch-hit on his last day off.
Bochy called Posey's healed ligaments from his season-ending ankle injury a year ago "a little cranky, but not bad."
Posey was 0-for-8 in the first two games of the series against the D-backs. He is batting .284 with four homers and 12 RBIs on the season.
"I think it's the best thing in the long run," Bochy said. "He needs a day."
Hector Sanchez got the start Sunday with his usual batterymate Barry Zito on the mound. The 22-year-old has hit at a .255 clip with nine RBIs in 18 games this year.
"He's done a nice job. He's makes it easier to put Buster at first or to give him a break," Bochy said. "He's got a good idea of what he's doing out there, he manages well, he has made a lot of progress. Coming out of Spring Training, he was a young guy, but he's done a good job of preparing."
Giants tab Arias as interim third baseman
PHOENIX -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy anointed Joaquin Arias as his everyday third baseman Sunday while Pablo Sandoval rehabs from a broken bone in his left hand.
Arias is batting .255 in 14 games this season, but his biggest contributions to the club have been in the field.
On Saturday with the tying run at the plate for the D-backs, Arias made a backhanded snag down the left-field line to steal an extra-base hit away from Ryan Roberts.
"With the job he's done, he's handled the bat and played good third base, he's been the silver lining through the Pablo injury," Bochy said. "He's picked us up."
Utility player Emmanuel Burris will be the likely backup at third for Arias.
"He's still going to be in the mix," Bochy said of Burriss. "Right-handed at-bats haven't been as well as he would like or I would like, but he'll keep working."
Prior to Sunday's series finale with the D-backs, the Giants activated left-handed pitcher Jeremy Affeldt from the 15-day disabled list. He had been hampered with a right knee sprain. In the corresponding move, the club designated lefty Travis Blackley for assignment.