ST. LOUIS -- The timing for the release of Buster Posey's mobile game, "Buster Bash," couldn't have been any better.
Posey stayed scorching hot for the Giants on Tuesday in a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, hitting a three-run homer that provided a spark on a night when Barry Zito put forth another solid effort.
Posey's home-run-hitting mobile game was released Monday, but even the most enthusiastic of digital sluggers might find it hard to keep up with Posey's production of late. The home run was Posey's fifth in six games. He has eight homers and 30 RBIs in 22 games since the All-Star break.
The outburst has carried the Giants' offense and vaulted Posey's name into national conversations about the MVP race.
"That's humbling to hear your name even mentioned with something like that," Posey said. "It's pretty cool, I guess."
Zito thought Tuesday's blast was pretty cool as well. The first-inning homer gave Zito an early cushion at Busch Stadium and bolstered his desire to be aggressive with the dangerous Cardinals lineup.
"When we go up three, it's even more important," Zito said. "Being aggressive and throwing strikes -- when you do that you put the pressure on (the Cardinals). They'll swing at pitches out of the zone and react differently."
Zito held the Cardinals to two solo homers by Allen Craig through six innings and was at 97 pitches. Manager Bruce Bochy, dealing with a slumping bullpen, sent Zito
Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti had met with the bullpen earlier in the day to explain new roles and assignments, including a plan to have Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez handle the final six outs.
Romo got two outs in the eighth before allowing a double and giving way to Affeldt. The left-hander got the final four outs and his third save and said the afternoon meeting helped refocus the bullpen, which had given up 26 earned runs over the previous 11 games.
"They defined roles," Affeldt said. "If this is what it's going to be, you just mentally agree to it. We understand the game situations and that there are different guys that can do different things."
The bullpen's return to form clinched Zito's second career win against the Cardinals. He had entered with a 1-6 record and 5.23 ERA against St. Louis but walked none while recording his 12th quality start of the season.
"He's got some huge wins for us after tough losses," Bochy said. "He looked crisp. He had a good look about him tonight."
"It was a good step today," Sandoval said. "I started putting pressure on the hamstring today. It feels great; there's just a little weakness. I just need to make sure everything is fine."
Sandoval estimated that his hamstring is 90 percent healthy, but he wants to be 100 percent before returning.
"I prefer to lose a couple more days instead of all of the season," Sandoval said. "If you take a couple more days, it's going to be better."
The Giants feel the same way about Sandoval, who is eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday.
"He's doing quite well, he's really coming along," Bochy said. "But once you get in a game you get the game-speed reactions, and if you're not 100 percent you're probably going to reinjure it. We've got to be cautious."
Mijares was acquired Monday on a waiver claim from the Kansas City Royals.
The game was briefly halted in the seventh inning, but Loux said he didn't know what had happened until after the inning was over.
"I've seen it happen before," he said. "Just never at me."
The fan had been sitting in a luxury suite at Busch Stadium.