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Sanchez's role in near-perfecto impresses Bochy

Sanchez's role in near-perfecto impresses Bochy

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said recently that Hector Sanchez could benefit from catching regularly during Buster Posey's injury-induced absence.

Bochy couldn't predict that catching a near-perfect game would be part of broadening Sanchez's experience.

As a former catcher, Bochy appreciated Sanchez's collaboration with Yusmeiro Petit on the latter's one-hitter Friday against the D-backs.

"When a guy throws a game like that, you have to look at the guy behind the plate. He's helping out," Bochy said. "It should do a lot for Hector. He's getting more time calling a game."

Sanchez batted .280 in 74 games as a rookie last year, but needed to improve his defense -- a priority that was difficult to address this season, which has been marred by a shoulder injury. Sanchez has worked hard to compensate for lost time, as the pitching staff's 2.66 ERA in his last 10 games before Saturday indicated.

Backup catchers have steered two Giants no-hitters. Before Sanchez nearly did so, Eli Whiteside caught Jonathan Sanchez against San Diego, July 10, 2009 and Gary Alexander caught John Montefusco at Atlanta, Sept. 29, 1976. Posey caught Matt Cain's perfect game last year and Tim Lincecum's no-hitter this season.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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