8/17/2013 1:57 A.M. ET
Posey gets break during grinding season
By Joe Morgan / MLB.com
MIAMI -- After catching 164 pitches in the Giants' 4-3 win against the Nationals on Thursday, catcher Buster Posey earned the night off Friday. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said he may also sit Posey on Sunday.
Following Sunday's game against the Marlins, the Giants fly home to begin a series against the Red Sox on Monday night.
"After talking with him that [Friday] would be a good day to take off, he may take the day game off here, too," Bochy said. "... It's nothing to be concerned about. Just catching. That was a long game [Thursday]."
Posey, whose 2011 season ended after 45 games due to a broken ankle, played a career-high 148 games and 16 postseason contests in 2012. He caught a staff that ranked seventh in the Majors with a 3.68 ERA.
The All-Star catcher has appeared in all but six games this season, but Bochy emphasized that San Francisco's early-season troubles on the mound were more of a burden on Posey.
The Giants entered Friday ranked 20th in MLB with a 4.04 ERA. Also, the staff's pitches per plate appearances, WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) and walks per nine innings are up from last season, leading to longer innings and longer games for Posey behind the plate.
With a lineup that entered Friday ranked 14th in the National League in runs, extra-base hits and RBIs, sitting a key bat like Posey is difficult. The catcher entered Friday leading San Francisco with 61 RBIs and an .859 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) and ranked second with 14 homers.
"It's been a little different year in respect we have played longer games," Bochy said. "You look at the first six weeks, we had our pitching struggling a little bit. There's some long games. It's a different game.
"You catch 145, 130 pitches or you catch 200 pitches. That takes a toll on you, and that's been the difference, too. It's not just a game. It's what type of game it is. We've played longer games this year."
Belt flexing muscle during hitting streak
MIAMI -- Brandon Belt's bat has provided plenty of pop while the Giants lineup's season-long struggles have carried into August.
The 25-year-old first baseman extended his season-best hitting streak to 11 games Friday. He is batting .432 (19-for-44) with four home runs during the stretch.
"I'm seeing [the ball] pretty well," Belt said. "I think that's the main thing that helps you feel good every day you go out there is knowing that if you can see the ball well, you're going to have a good chance of hitting the ball hard. That's definitely a feeling you want to have."
Belt's power surge during his hitting streak has accounted for more than 25 percent of his team-leading 15 homers. After belting only seven long balls in 411 at-bats last season, Belt has more than twice that total in 48 fewer at-bats in 2013.
"I'm putting some good swings on some balls," Belt said. "I think swinging at pitches I'm able to drive is key. Laying off a lot of pitches I can't [drive]. I'm just putting some backspin on them and hopefully they carry out."
The first half of August has seen Belt at his best. He is batting .431 (22-for-51) with a .500 on-base percentage and five home runs since the month began.
"He's really been swinging the bat," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "Brandon, he's really been working hard and he's getting better at-bats, driving the ball better like we know he can."
In an effort to jump-start a Giants lineup that entered Friday ranked 28th in the Majors with only 449 runs scored, Bochy has batted Belt third eight times and cleanup once in nine games since Aug. 7.
Belt, who batted third against the Marlins on Friday night, is hitting .395 (15-for-38) with four home runs, nine RBIs and 11 runs scored since his move up into the heart of San Francisco's order.
"It's definitely a confidence booster," Belt said of his new spot in the lineup. "Just knowing that the coaching staff has confidence in you putting me up in that spot. It's definitely a responsibility because there's a lot of runs to be driven in up there, and I just want to go up there, do my job and hopefully stay up there."
Said Bochy: "He's done a good job in that three-hole."
Sore Rosario recovers to get win vs. Marlins
MIAMI -- San Francisco reliever Sandy Rosario earned a win Friday after taking a line drive to the chest Thursday. He pitched two scoreless innings of relief with a bruised sternum in the Giants' 14-10 win against the Marlins.
"He really won the game there for us," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "He stopped their momentum and threw great. At that point, we've got to have somebody stop it.
"If I have to go get him, then we are going to run thin on pitching. For him to give us two innings was clutch, especially after what happened to him yesterday."
When Rosario heard he was credited with the win by the official scorer's discretion Friday, he was surprised. Rosario thought fellow reliever Jose Mijares, who entered the game in relief of starter Chad Gaudin, got the victory.
"That's good to know," Rosario said, laughing. "I'm so happy now. Now I know. I didn't know that one."
Rosario's availability Friday was determined by a pregame throwing session, according to Bochy.
Rosario's status was in question after an Adam LaRoche liner hit him in the chest during Thursday's win against the Nationals. Rosario had trouble breathing in the immediate aftermath but felt much better Friday.
"He's doing all right. He's a little sore. Right now, he is [available]," Bochy said before Friday's game. "I'll wait until he throws and stuff."
Said Rosario of his injury Friday afternoon: "It's good. I'm sore. I have to go out and see how I feel after I throw and go from there."
Rosario said he experienced pain breathing for the first hour after taking the hit, but it quickly subsided. He said it went from "terrible" in the first hour to "better."
"I feel like I can throw," Rosario said. "We'll see how it feels after I throw."
The hour Rosario described as "terrible" began with some scary first few seconds. Despite his shock from taking a liner off the chest, the pitcher recovered and threw LaRoche out at first.
"At the moment, I didn't think," Rosario said. "I was just trying to find air for the first five seconds. I was trying to breathe, and I couldn't. But I'm getting better."
Bochy comments on Manuel's dismissal
MIAMI -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy was surprised by Friday's dismissal of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, the winningest skipper in club history. However, Bochy acknowledged that the move was understandable.
Manuel led Philadelphia to five straight National League East titles and back-to-back World Series appearances in 2008 and 2009, but losing records this year and last spelled the end.
Bochy and San Francisco sit in last place in the NL West this season after winning World Series titles in 2010 and 2012.
"It's funny in this game how quickly things can turn around," Bochy said.
Bochy had nothing but praise for his colleague when reflecting on Manuel's accomplishments.
"Charlie did a great job there and had a heck of a run and has a lot to be proud of," Bochy said. "But listening to them, they talked all week and this is what they decided to do, and it makes sense."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.