San Francisco Giants

Giants’ Buster Posey catching first Tim Lincecum start since April 2014

San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey hits a double against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game on Saturday, May 2, 2015, in San Francisco.
San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey hits a double against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game on Saturday, May 2, 2015, in San Francisco. AP

Buster Posey last caught a Tim Lincecum start on April 26, 2014. But Posey is behind the plate today for Lincecum’s start in the San Francisco Giants’ series finale against the Los Angeles Angels.

Manager Bruce Bochy said the decision was nfluenced by his desire to keep first baseman Brandon Belt in the lineup against Angels right-hander Jered Weaver. Belt is batting just .214 with no home runs and five RBIs, and Bochy likes to let regulars play their way out of funks.

“I gotta get Belt going,” Bochy said.

Bochy said other reasons are that Weaver is tough on right-handed hitters, and that Posey has had several days recently playing at first base, so “he’s had some rest.”

“I’m hoping it goes well with Timmy,” Bochy said. “But we’ll see in the early go here.”

The full Giants’ lineup against Weaver today:

LF Aoki

2B Panik

CF Pagan

C Posey

1B Belt

SS Crawford

3B McGehee

RF Blanco

P Lincecum

And the Angels’ lineup against Lincecum:

SS Aybar

CF Trout

1B Pujols

RF Calhoun

3B Freese

LF Joyce

2B Giavotella

P Weaver

C Iannetta

▪ Hunter Pence took batting practice with the team before Sunday’s game for the first time since he fractured his forearm in spring training.

Bochy said Pence will continue with baseball activities “for the next couple days, then we’ll probably have a pretty good idea when he’ll start his rehab.” Bochy said that one option is starting Pence with a couple of games at extended spring training, as he hardly played this spring due to the fracture.

▪ The Giants’ Double-A affiliate, the Richmond Flying Squirrels, are in a tough stretch right now, having lost 14 consecutive games while starting the season 3-16. They’re playing under first-year manager Jose Alguacil, whom Bochy said he talked with a few days ago.

Bochy said his message to Alguacil was: “We’ve all been through it. Here, (the Giants) went through a tough start. More than anything, you stay behind your guys. Augie and I talked for a while about different things. But he’ll be the rock there, he’ll be the guy that keeps them together.”

▪ Bochy said after Saturday’s game ended with Angels pinch runner Taylor Featherston getting hit on the leg with a Matt Joyce grounder for the final out that he’d never seen a game end that way. Hours later, the Dodgers-Diamondbacks game ended the same way, with Arizona runner Jordan Pacheco hit by a grounder off the bat of David Peralta.

Before the Giants’ win, it hadn’t happened in five years, since the Pirates lost to the A’s that way on June 27, 2010. Then, Saturday, two games ended on an at-bat that officially went down as a single for the losing team.

“What’s the odds of that?” Bochy said Sunday. “Never seen it in all my years, and less than what, five, six hours, it happened again.”

Crazy game.

Call The Bee’s Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015. See his baseball coverage at sacbee.com/mlb. Follow him on Twitter at @matthewkawahara.

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