PHOENIX -- Bruce Bochy's attempts to preserve Buster Posey's stamina begin this week, as the Giants manager announced plans to rest his valuable catcher in Thursday's series finale against the D-backs.
Bochy said Tuesday that Hector Sanchez will catch on Thursday, giving Posey a much-needed break in a day game following a night game. Bochy pointed out that the switch-hitting Sanchez, who batted .320 with two home runs and 16 RBIs in 19 exhibition appearances, has earned any playing time that can be created for him.
Sanchez's apparent improvement, Bochy said, "is going to make it a little bit easier to give Buster a few days [off] here and there. Both of them will benefit from it."
Bochy wouldn't commit to starting Posey, who hit the game-winning home run in Monday's opener, in each game of this weekend's three-game series at Los Angeles.
"We'll see how the games go. That plays a part in it," Bochy said, indicating that Posey might receive another break if he endures a particularly grueling game behind the plate.
Pence looks golden on defense in opener
PHOENIX -- Giants right fielder Hunter Pence looked like a Gold Glove Award candidate in Monday's series opener against Arizona. But he doesn't anticipate capturing the honor in the near future.
"I definitely need to try to improve my defense," said Pence, who threw out Mark Trumbo at third base and would have nailed another runner at home plate had catcher Buster Posey hung onto the ball. "That's always a goal, to be as focused and as sharp as I can out there."
Pence said somewhat jokingly that he might earn consideration "if you threw out someone every night."
A two-time National League All-Star, Pence has a special regard for Gold Glove winners.
"It takes a tremendous amount of talent and speed," Pence said.
• As expected, right-hander Tim Lincecum has recovered swiftly from his bruised left knee and will start Thursday's series finale against Arizona.
"He's running around like everything's fine," Bochy said. "He has no issues."
Lincecum was struck on his knee by a line drive hit by Oakland's Daric Barton last Friday.
• Posey' game-winning home run Monday traveled 453 feet -- the longest of his career -- according to ESPN's home run tracker. Previously, Posey's longest drive traveled 443 feet on July 13, 2012, against Houston at AT&T Park.
• Before Monday, the Giants last won a season opener on the road after trailing by at least four runs in 1941. Facing a 4-0 deficit at Ebbets Field, the Giants surged back to triumph, 6-4.