DENVER -- The dog days of summer have been the best days of Buster Posey's season, reinforcing a plan put in place when Posey still ran with a limp and the Giants didn't know how long their cleanup hitter would remain a catcher.
Manager Bruce Bochy has been cautious with Posey, often going against his catcher's wishes and playing him at first base to get partial days off, or sitting him altogether. As Posey showed again in Saturday's 11-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies, the Posey plan couldn't be working out any better.
Posey hit his 16th homer and drove in three runs in the win. Afterward, he said he has started to lessen the amount of maintenance work he has to do on his surgically repaired left ankle.
"All in all, I've been happy with the way it's recovered," Posey said.
Still, Bochy remains cautious. Posey is scheduled to start at first base Sunday, his 17th start at the position. He has caught 74 times in the Giants first 107 games and said moving away from his normal position has been tough at times. But he understands the bigger picture.
"You try and keep it in perspective and realize there are two months left in the season and it's important to recover," Posey said. "Bochy has done a great job with me. I really appreciate his communication."
That communication continued Saturday, when after another dominating performance by the Giants, Bochy called Posey into his office for the latest chat about his status. The Giants will continue to watch Posey's ankle, but there's certainly nothing wrong with his bat.
Posey homered for his third straight game, becoming the first Giants catcher to do so since Brian Johnson in 1998. He has six homers and 25 RBIs since the All-Star break.
"I don't know what else to say about him, " Bochy said, shaking his head. "He's fun to watch."
The whole offense has been fun to watch in 18 innings at Coors Field, totaling 27 runs and 33 hits. Angel Pagan continued to explode out of a midseason slump, going 4 for 6 with a homer and three RBIs. Pagan made swing adjustments before this series and has reached base nine times in two games.
"You're going to scuffle, but you try to see what you can do to make it better and sometimes it can be just a hair of an adjustment," Pagan said. "Right now I feel good. We're in first place, and we've got to protect that."
The Giants are in first place in large part because of the top of their rotation, and Madison Bumgarner did his part Saturday. Bumgarner gave up one run over six innings to earn his first road win since June 23. He has thrown at least six innings in each of his past five starts and hasn't given up more than two earned runs in any of them.
"He did a great job," Bochy said. "He gave us what we needed."
Bumgarner didn't have any trouble with the notoriously hitter-friendly park, but the Rockies pitching staff couldn't say the same. For a second straight game, every Giants starting position player had at least one hit. Marco Scutaro had three hits against his former team, and Melky Cabrera walked a career-high four times and hit his 11th homer of the season.
"It seems like we always play pretty well here," Bumgarner said. "We caught it at the right time, coming out here."
He had been on the disabled list with right wrist tendinitis before being released, but Bochy said Nady is now healthy.
"It's well worth taking a look," Bochy said. "I know him, and he's a big bat with power."
Nady, 33, is a Salinas native and Cal alum. He has a .271 average and 100 home runs in 11 big league seasons, including four seasons spent playing for Bochy with the San Diego Padres.
Chatwood struggled in his first stint with the Rockies this season, putting up a 7.62 ERA in seven relief appearances.