4/23/2014 8:22 P.M. ET
Belt bats third as Posey, Pagan get rest
By Jack Etkin / Special to MLB.com
DENVER -- Seeking to spark the slumping Giants, manager Bruce Bochy wrote out a lineup Wednesday that had first baseman Brandon Belt batting third for the third time this season and catcher Buster Posey and center fielder Angel Pagan on the bench.
Posey is in a deep slump and was rested after catching four consecutive games. Pagan has been dealing with right knee soreness.
The Giants scored three runs while losing the first two games of this series with the Rockies and entered Wednesday having scored 12 runs in their previous seven games.
Belt primarily has been hitting second against right-handed pitchers and sixth against left-handers. He said he wasn't aware he was in the third spot until Hunter Pence, whose locker is next to Belt's, mentioned it to him Wednesday morning.
Belt batted third this season April 3 and last Friday. Before Tuesday's game, Bochy said Belt could be "a stabilizer" in the lineup batting third. He was productive in that spot the final two months of last season.
"I definitely feel comfortable there," said Belt. "It's a place where it gives you a lot of opportunity to create runs, and that's what you want to do as a hitter."
Posey entered Wednesday with three hits in his past 35 at-bats and is mired in one of the worst slumps of his career. According to STATS, he had a 2-for-35 tailspin last season from Sept. 10-22. Moreover, Posey is hitless in his past 19 at-bats against right-handed hitters.
He caught four consecutive games and with a day game Wednesday after Tuesday night's contest, Bochy wanted to rest Posey, who was intentionally walked as a pinch-hitter in the 10th inning of Wednesday's 12-10, 11-inning Giants victory.
Posey singled on his first at-bat Tuesday but then failed to hit the ball out of the infield in his final three at-bats.
"I wish I had something good to give you as far as explaining [his offensive woes]," Bochy said. "The fact is that he's human; he's going to have these moments, too. All hitters do."
Bochy gets tossed for arguing strike-three call
DENVER -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy was ejected by home-plate umpire Chris Conroy in the fourth inning of Wednesday's 12-10, 11-inning victory over the Rockies.
With one out and the score tied at 5, Brandon Crawford broke for second on a 3-2 pitch that Brandon Hicks thought was low and took for strike three. Crawford pulled up before reaching second and was easily tagged out by the Rockies' DJ LeMahieu.
"It's frustrating," Bochy said. "That's a big call. We got first and second there. Get the pitcher up, get him out of the way. Obviously, I didn't think the pitch was close. It's even more frustrating when you're up here watching [the replay]. I'll leave it at that."
Bochy vehemently objected and was face-to-face with Conroy, who ejected him. It was the second ejection for the Giants this year, both in this series. Home-plate umpire John Tumpane ejected center fielder Angel Pagan for arguing a called strike three Monday. It was the 61st career ejection for Bochy, who was ejected three times last season.
Pagan to get off-day treatment on sore knee
DENVER -- Giants center fielder Angel Pagan, who was not in the starting lineup Wednesday, did not break well on several balls that became bloop hits Tuesday night. Manager Bruce Bochy said Pagan will take treatment on his right knee Thursday in San Francisco, when the Giants are off, and could have some diagnostic tests.
"He says it's bothering him a little bit and [he] can deal with it," Bochy said Wednesday. "He could go out there today. He's such a good athlete and runs so well, you could tell he wasn't 100 percent yesterday. He's fine, but we just want to make sure he's OK and make sure there's nothing going on."
Pagan, who grounded out as a pinch-hitter in Wednesday's 12-10 Giants victory, went 5-for-21 on the just-completed road trip. In the first two games of the series vs. Colorado, he went 1-for-8 with four strikeouts. Bochy said the knee soreness is making it harder for the switch-hitting Pagan to bat right-handed when his right knee is his plant leg and bears his weight as he starts his swing.
Pence doesn't pay attention to numbers
DENVER -- Giants right fielder Hunter Pence finished Wednesday's game with a .238 average (20-for-84), having hiked his average from .181 by going 2-for-4 in each of the first two games of the series, including a double Monday and a home run Tuesday, before going 3-for-4 with a double, two walks and three runs in Wednesday's 12-10 Giants victory to cap the series.
During his career, April has been Pence's most trying month. He has a career .258 average, .307 on-base percentage and .406 slugging percentage in April -- his lowest monthly figures in those categories.
By contrast, Pence has thrived in May hitting .330 with a .385 on-base percentage and .554 slugging percentage -- his highest monthly figures in each category.
"I block out what my numbers are as best I can," said Pence who entered the season hitting .285/.339/.476, "and just play that game, what's needed right now to win. It's never comfortable to not be doing well, but there's never a falter in my belief that I can come out and help the team win. No matter whether I'm on fire or I'm struggling, every time I step in the box, I feel that at-bat, I'm going to give you a good at-bat. It's never comfortable to have the start that I'm having, and I don't take it lightly. But I just continue to apply the things that I've been successful with."
Jack Etkin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.