SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeff Francoeur is no longer the hitter that burst onto the scene with eight home runs in 23 games as a rookie in 2005, but the Giants want to see just how much the 29-year-old can aid a San Francisco lineup desperate for a lift.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy has mostly used Francoeur in a left-field platoon role with Kensuke Tanaka since he joined the club, but Wednesday he was penciled into the lineup against right-handers on consecutive days for the first time with the organization.
Francoeur did not reach base in four at-bats against right-handers Greg Reynolds and Curtis Partch on Tuesday night. He did, however, pound a slider from right-hander Bronson Arroyo to deep center field Monday and was robbed of a home run on a spectacular play by Reds outfielder Derrick Robinson.
"He's a proven Major League hitter and this offense needs some help," Bochy said. "It's a good time to throw him out there."
Francoeur is 4-for-18 with an RBI in seven games with the Giants. Known as a free swinger, he has been noticeably more patient with San Francisco. In the small sample size, he's seen four pitches per plate appearance, which is better than his career mark of 3.5.
In an example of his improved plate discipline, he fell behind Reds starter Tony Cingrani 1-2 in Game 1 on Tuesday, but shortened his swing to foul off a couple of pitches before fisting an inside fastball to right field for a single.
"He's been turning out some pretty good at-bats," Bochy said. "You want to get him settled in and getting enough at-bats."
Vogelsong happy with initial rehab start
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ryan Vogelsong pitched two innings in the first outing of his rehab assignment Tuesday with the Giants' Arizona League club and said he was pleased with the results.
Vogelsong threw 34 pitches, 10 of which came in the second inning. He said, "It's been a while since I've had one of those."
"The second inning was definitely better than the first," he said.
He used his full arsenal of pitches and will start in Stockton on Friday with Class A San Jose. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Vogelsong is expected to throw 40 to 45 pitches in the outing.
"He threw well," Bochy said. "He felt good about how he threw. That's a nice step to coming back here."
Bochy added that Vogelsong will return to San Francisco after Friday's start and will travel with the team to the White House on Monday prior to the club's three-game series in Philadelphia. He will then continue his rehab assignment with nearby Double-A Richmond.
Posey gets rest after playing doubleheader
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants catcher Buster Posey was left out of the starting lineup by manager Bruce Bochy on Wednesday after playing in both games of Tuesday's doubleheader.
Both Posey and Bochy said the day off was not related to an injury. Posey experienced a nasty foul tip off his catcher's mask in Game 2 on Tuesday, but he said it didn't bother him.
"We think he could use a break and get some rest," Bochy said. "With [Thursday] off, it gives him a couple days off. I think it's important he gets a day.
"He's just been playing a lot. He played both yesterday. With a catcher, I like to find a time to give two days off."
Posey has appeared in 79 games as a catcher and 16 as a first baseman in 2013. After starting at first base in Game 1 on Tuesday, he played behind the plate in Game 2. Counting his two games at designated hitter, Posey has appeared in 97 of the Giants' 100 games this season and is making a case for a second consecutive National League Most Valuable Player Award.
Petit impresses with bullpen-saving outing
SAN FRANCISCO -- He didn't throw a pitch in the 5-3 win in Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader, but Giants reliever Yusmeiro Petit certainly had a hand in the San Francisco victory.
After starter Eric Surkamp lasted only 2 2/3 innings in Game 1, Petit came on and delivered 5 1/3 strong innings for manager Bruce Bochy and saved the bullpen from an arduous afternoon game ahead of the nightcap.
Due to Petit's performance, Bochy could turn to five fresh relievers to sustain a 5-3 lead and beat the Reds for the first time in six games this season. Bochy said the contribution did not go unnoticed.
"If he goes out on three days' rest and pitches like that, sure, it [helps]," said Bochy, who complimented Petit's ability to hold runners as well.
Since Chad Gaudin -- the Giants' long reliever at the beginning of the season -- replaced Ryan Vogelsong in the rotation in May, San Francisco has not had a traditional long reliever, but Bochy said Petit has the potential to fill that role.
"We've talked for two or three years about how valuable a long [relief] guy can be," Bochy said. "We've been fortunate since 2009 ... with starters making their starts and going long in the game when we don't need a long guy."
Petit made one start for the Giants in 2012 and has appeared in parts of four previous seasons with the Marlins and D-backs.