Bochy tries to 'freshen up some legs'

Bochy tries to 'freshen up some legs'

DENVER -- In the midst of a road-trip rut, Giants manager Bruce Bochy rested Brandon Belt, Denard Span and Joe Panik at the start of Tuesday's game against the Rockies at Coors Field.

Belt and Span were hitless over each of their past 18 at-bats, and Panik had just two singles. Buster Posey, who was given Monday off, made his ninth start at first base, leaving Trevor Brown behind the plate and as another right-handed bat against Rockies lefty Tyler Anderson, while Gorkys Hernandez started in center and Kelby Tomlinson made his 12th start at second base.

Posey entered the game in a 2-for-22 funk, and combined with Belt and Brandon Crawford, the Giants' power trio had gone a combined 243 at-bats without a homer. San Francisco entered Tuesday riding a 17-inning scoreless drought.

After a deflating defeat in 13 innings at Wrigley Field on Sunday, the club traveled to Denver and lost 6-0 on Monday afternoon, becoming just the fourth victim in Coors Field history to be shut out on two hits or less, at the hands of Rockies righty Chad Bettis.

"That tough series there in Chicago, day game here, just needed some fresh legs out there and trying to freshen up some legs," Bochy said. "That's why Joe and Span are off, and Buster, I'm trying to give a little bit more of a break behind the plate. In order to do that, I have to put him at first with a lefty going. It makes sense to go ahead and let Brown have another game."

The Giants, who had the Majors' best record at the All-Star break, entered play Tuesday an MLB-worst 16-31 since. No team in history has followed the best mark at the break with the worst in the second half. The Giants had fallen four games out of first place in the National League West entering Tuesday.

Bochy didn't offer excuses for his sluggish offense of late, but did note such struggles aren't novel.

"Hitting is one of the toughest things -- if not the toughest thing -- in all of sports," Bochy said. "It can be one of the toughest things as far as getting back on track when you get in a funk. I do think it can be somewhat contagious, and part of it is guys start pressing a little bit. A little self-doubt may creep in there; other variables. It's such a hard thing to do."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Jake Peavy threw a bullpen session on Monday and is expected to be activated off the 15-day disabled list Wednesday. Peavy, who has been sidelined by a low back strain, lost his rotation spot last month, and in his eight outings since, has posted a 6.75 ERA.

• After throwing a perfect 2 1/3 innings in his first outing as a full-time reliever, Matt Cain could be used in more high-leverage situations, Bochy said. Cain, who was activated from the DL on Friday, came in with a 6-0 deficit on Monday, but showed improved velocity and command from his rehab start last Saturday.

"I liked the way he came out," Bochy said of Cain. "He threw strikes. He looked comfortable. He would tell you he could [pitch today], but I won't give it to him. He's one of those that probably could throw today. He's a little bit like [Tim Lincecum]."

Daniel Kramer is reporter for MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Giants on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.