Giants Expect Buster Posey Back in Lineup on Wednesday

SAN FRANCISCO -- The scoreboard said it was 96 degrees at Oracle Park when the Giants started batting practice on Tuesday. That's hitting weather, but a couple of key bats remain out for Bruce Bochy.

Brandon Belt is out with a stiff neck and Buster Posey is not eligible to return from the Injured List until Wednesday. Bochy said Posey, who has a hamstring strain, should start the second game of this series. He took batting practice with the team Tuesday. 

"It's not a definite, but it looks good," Bochy said. 

The lineup was also without Belt for the start of a two-game series with the Padres. He was sick Sunday but was preparing to pinch-hit late in that game when his neck locked up on him in the cage. That's why Belt never hit in a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers, and Bochy said he needs another day to heal. Belt should be available to come off the bench if needed. 

The lineup against rookie Chris Paddack did come with a surprise other than Belt's absence. Tyler Austin is in left field against a righty starter for just the third time this season; Austin is hitting .138 against righties but is one of Bochy's few power bats, so the staff decided to give him a few more starts regardless of the matchup. 

--- From earlier, the Giants had just one position player -- Posey -- in the top 10 of voting for the All-Star Game. Will Smith will almost certainly be the Giants rep, and Bochy gave him the nod Tuesday while also noting that Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija have thrown well.

Bumgarner, by the way, will get another shot at Max Muncy and the Dodgers. The Giants have two off days this week but will keep Bumgarner on a more normal schedule, starting him either Friday or Saturday instead of his regular turn on Sunday. That means Bumgarner will pitch at Dodger Stadium during a four-game series next week. 

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