Giants option Heston to make room for Byrd

Giants option Heston to make room for Byrd

PITTSBURGH -- Giants right-hander Chris Heston was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for recently acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd, manager Bruce Bochy said before Friday's game against the Pirates.

Despite being sent down, Heston is expected to return to the Majors when rosters expand on Sept. 1. Heston was originally slated to start on Saturday against the Pirates. Instead, Mike Leake will come off the disabled to take that turn in the rotation.

Bochy said the brief time away from the Giants should freshen up Heston, who has thrown the second-most innings by any pitcher on the club this season behind ace Madison Bumgarner.

"It gives him a little breather," Bochy said.

Heston filled in nicely since being promoted from the Minors on April 7 to offset Matt Cain's trip to the disabled list.

Many remember Heston's no-hitter on June 9, shutting down the Mets with 11 strikeouts.

But he was consistent, as well. In 24 starts, Heston went 11-7 with a 3.34 ERA, including a 1.57 ERA in July.

Bochy said Heston has "done a terrific job".

"I can't say that enough. How he's picked us up and been a shot in the arm ... he's had a really nice year," Bochy said, "and it's not over."

John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.