Posey, Crawford, Pagan out of lineup to rest

Posey, Crawford, Pagan out of lineup to rest

ST. LOUIS -- Buster Posey was out of the Giants' lineup for the third consecutive game Saturday, though manager Bruce Bochy said that the catcher's tight lower back was continuing to improve.

Bochy said that to ensure Posey's long-term health, he wanted to rest the two-time All-Star for one more day. Depending on the condition of backup catcher Hector Sanchez, Bochy added, Posey might also sit out Sunday's series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals. Coupled with Monday's scheduled off-day, that would give Posey five days' rest, an ample amount.

Asked if the Giants' recent success has given him leeway to rest Posey, Bochy replied, "No question." Bochy added that this experience has been valuable for the 24-year-old Sanchez, who has received more extensive activity only once in his Major League career. He started five games in a row last Sept. 4-8.

Bochy also rested shortstop Brandon Crawford, who had started all but five games. Crawford entered Saturday with two hits in his previous 20 at-bats.

"He just needs a day [off]. You can see it on both sides," Bochy said, referring to Crawford's offense and defense. "His legs are probably pretty heavy right now."

Replacing Crawford, Ehire Adrianza received his eighth start of the season at shortstop.

Bochy also viewed Saturday's day game following a night game as an opportunity to give a break to hard-working leadoff batter and center fielder Angel Pagan. Gregor Blanco played center instead.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.