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Lee County’s Posey starts at first base in 10-2 Giants’ spring loss to Reds

Cincinnati's Devin Mesoraco, top, is chased by San Francisco Giants first baseman Buster Posey on a rundown between first and second base following a steal attempt during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game Saturday in Scottsdale, Ariz. Saturday was Posey's first action at first base this spring.

Cincinnati's Devin Mesoraco, top, is chased by San Francisco Giants first baseman Buster Posey on a rundown between first and second base following a steal attempt during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game Saturday in Scottsdale, Ariz. Saturday was Posey's first action at first base this spring.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Jeff Francis scattered three hits across seven strong innings and the Cincinnati Reds routed the San Francisco Giants, 10-2, on Saturday.

Former Lee County star and 2010 NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey — who saw his sophomore season end early after a brutal collision at home plate last May, injuring his left leg — walked and Joaquin Arias homered to left field with one out in the bottom of the seventh for the Giants’ runs.

Posey returned in spring under instruction from manager Bruce Bochy to no longer block the plate to avoid another injury, and Bochy hinted that Posey could also see some time at first base.

That happened Saturday.

Posey, who caught eight innings Friday night and has shown no lingering effects of that injury behind the plate thus far in spring, started at first base. Bochy said Posey may start regular-season games at first base in order to keep his legs fresh and to get an extra right-handed bat in the lineup.

Posey said so far, he’s felt great in spring, but the true test will be when 162-game grind begins next week with the start of the regular season.

“Even when you’re completely healthy, spring training is a lot different than the regular season,” Posey told CSNbayarea.com this week. “But I’m really optimistic because I’ve made a lot of progress this spring and I think it’s only gonna get better and better.”

Posey said he’s trying not to think about the injury and how it may affect him during the normal course of a game.

“It’ll be something I’ll think about for awhile,” he told the website. “It’s something I’ll get more and more comfortable with. I don’t think that thinking about it is a bad thing. The training staff has done a great job of managing it, knowing when to push and when to pull back a little bit.”

Posey, who just turned 25 last week, is batting .306 this spring with 11 hits in 14 games, including three doubles, one home run and four RBI.

The Giants will open the regular season Friday at the Arizona Diamondbacks.