SAN FRANCISCO -- Travis Buck barely had time to think when Indians manager Manny Acta called for the outfielder to pinch-hit in the ninth inning on Saturday night. Only a few minutes earlier, Buck was arriving at AT&T Park.
After a whirlwind day of travel, Buck made it to the Giants' home stadium in the eighth inning of the Tribe's 1-0 loss. He ran into the clubhouse, threw on his uniform, took a handful of swings in the batting cage and headed to the batter's box.
"At that point," Buck said. "I was just running on fumes."
Buck made solid contact on a pitch from San Francisco closer Brian Wilson, but he flew out to deep center field to end the game. With that episode behind him, Buck is hoping to reward Acta's continued faith in him as a hitter.
Buck was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Saturday when Cleveland placed Shin-Soo Choo on the 15-day disabled list with a broken left thumb. While Choo is sidelined, Buck will likely see regular playing time in right field. The outfielder feels that could help him turn his season around.
"I think it's definitely going to benefit me," Buck said. "This been a very good learning experience for me. I played every day basically my whole career, or for the majority of my career. I'm finding out how tough it is to be a bench player."
Entering Sunday's game against the Giants, Buck was hitting .225 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 33 games over four stints with the Indians this year. On Tuesday, Buck ended an 0-for-24 slump with an RBI single at home against the Rockies.
Buck tried altering his weekly routine coming into this season, knowing he would be in a bench role for the Tribe. He has used various bat types and has tweaked his swing mechanics and approach. What Buck has lacked has been consistency, but he is hoping to correct that issue.
"I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself," Buck said. "I'm definitely hoping that I'm going to take this opportunity and run with it."