SAN FRANCISCO -- Much has been made about the transition of having Buster Posey behind the plate full time, and so far the Giants pitching staff hasn't missed a beat.Aside from the numbers -- 3.45 ERA in 14 games, including two shutouts in the past three games -- the starters also said Posey has been challenging them by calling different pitches than they're accustomed to. "He's a guy who's not afraid to throw different pitches in different counts," Matt Cain said after Saturday's game. "He really gets you to go ahead and be comfortable in yourself and go ahead and be aggressive with pitches that might not seem like the best ones at the time, but just be confident and just throw them." Posey said he wasn't knowingly calling different pitches in different situations than Cain and Friday starter Barry Zito were used to, but said, with a few more starts together, he hopes to continue to get to know the pitchers better. As far as which stat line Posey's more proud of -- his personal July numbers at the plate (.481, seven homers entering Sunday) or the Giants' recent success on the mound -- Posey said, "Probably the catching. I mean, if I don't catch a good game there's a good chance we're not going to win. I could not have a good game at the plate and we could win, so that takes precedence."
Huff enjoys being jack of all trades
SAN FRANCISCO -- Every day Aubrey Huff comes to the ballpark, he has to check the lineup sheet to see which glove he'll need.Since Buster Posey was recalled May 29, Huff -- previously the team's primary first baseman -- has started 20 games in right, 17 in left and five at first base and said he is relishing his role. "I like to keep it interesting, man," Huff said. "I get bored playing the same position all the time. It's just the way I was wired. I grew up playing a lot of positions, I came up playing a lot of positions and that's just what I'm used to. I enjoy it." Huff's current situation isn't one he thought he'd find himself in. Throughout his career, Huff said he heard the loud, numerous voices who said he was simply a DH. A lot of that talk, Huff believes, stemmed from when he first came up with Tampa Bay to play third, a position Huff -- who acknowledged he wasn't a third baseman -- admittedly struggled with. The 2000 and 2001 version of Huff still is in the minds of some, which explains why Huff said when he comes to new teams during Spring Training, he always has to spend extra time working on defense. Now, the 2010 version of Huff is thriving -- whichever glove he's wearing. "Really, the outfield, for me, if you can play the infield you can play outfield. Infield is more of a reaction; you've got to be quick. In the outfield you just read fly balls, it's not that hard," Huff said. "I don't have a cannon; I'm not going to throw a lot of guys out. I'm not going to track down the balls a lot of speedsters would, but I'll make the routine play."
Giants bearing down during tough stretch
SAN FRANCISCO -- In the midst of their only home games of a 22-game stretch, the Giants find themselves playing their best baseball of the season.After snapping a season-high seven-game losing streak July 3, the Giants have won 10 of their past 12 games and have been the hottest team in the Majors during that stretch. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the key part of the Giants' recent success is them knowing how important the current stretch is. "I think as much as anything it's the focus these guys came in with, knowing this is part of the schedule and how important it is to play on the road, especially when you have a long stretch, and that can determine your season," Bochy said. "That's how you have to look at it, how important it is, and come out every day and be ready to go. We'll look at the whole road trip or schedule, but it's that day that you need to concentrate on and these guys are doing a good job of it."
As first reported by Venezuelan newspaper Meridiano, Pablo Sandoval confirmed that he will not play for the Magellan Navigators in the Venezuelan Professional League this winter. Sandoval said he will stay in San Diego to work out and said it was his decision. ... At 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, Andres Torres is perhaps the furthest thing from a power hitter, but the center fielder has hit a career-high eight home runs this season, five of which have come in the past nine games. Bochy said he hasn't been surprised by Torres' pop. "I saw it last year. He's a strong kid, in great shape, from both sides he's got pop and if you make a mistake he can do some damage." ... Freddy Sanchez continues to improve after battling a flu virus late last week. Sanchez, who lost six pounds, told Bochy he feels better but, as Bochy said, "when you lose that kind of weight, it's going zap you a little bit, take some strength away, but he's going to get better every day." ... Forty years ago Sunday, Willie Mays hit a single off Montreal's Mike Wegener for his 3,000th career hit.
Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.