More 'consistent' lineup slots Huff in five-hole

More 'consistent' lineup slots Huff in five-hole

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's no secret that Aubrey Huff has struggled at the plate this season, and the Giants' club-wide offensive woes are well-documented.

After putting up excellent numbers as the team's primary run producer last season, Huff is batting just .244 this year. And the Giants, following Sunday's 3-1 win over the Phillies, have now been held below three runs in 12 of their past 17 games -- the first such stretch for the franchise in 102 years, since John McGraw's team scored two runs or fewer 12 times in 16 games in 1909.

Following a meeting with position players prior to Saturday's game, manager Bruce Bochy decided to stick with a more steady lineup for the foreseeable future, hoping the consistency will break the Giants out of their season-long slump.

"We talked about it yesterday as a group. We're going to try to stay consistent here. I said this yesterday, I think really a few times, we know we're a better offense than what we've done the last eight or nine games," Bochy said. "I know it's been a struggle for the most part, but I'm not going to let the last eight or nine days dictate the whole year. Our thinking is being positive and believing that these guys are going to come out of it.

"I think it'll maybe help them relax a little bit. If it helps, great. As a manager, you think of ways you can get them out of it. Right now, I think one of the best ways is to stay as consistent as we can with this lineup."

That includes Huff, who entered Sunday with a .319 average, two doubles, a homer, three RBIs and four walks in his previous 15 games. The first baseman was batting fifth against the Phillies, and Bochy expects to see Huff in the middle of the lineup for most of the season's final two months.

"He's been there. He's a big reason why we won last year. I'm not trying to live on yesterday's headlines, believe me," Bochy said. "I think he's a guy that's always hitting in the heart of the order and has that experience. We want to certainly show our confidence in him. I think he helps protect Pablo [Sandoval]. For a few reasons, I've got him hitting fifth."