Giants hope to get lift from Pence vs. Phillies

SAN FRANCISCO — Having reaped the benefits of Joe Panik’s return from the disabled list Friday night, the San Francisco Giants hope to get a similar boost from Hunter Pence in a new role when they host the Philadelphia Phillies on the middle day of a three-game series Saturday.

Panik contributed two hits, a walk, a run and an RBI to Friday’s 4-0 win in the opener of a series that is a rematch of a four-game Phillies home sweep last month.

The win was San Francisco’s third straight at home.

The Giants are welcoming back three injured players in this series. Reliever Mark Melancon also was reinstated from the DL on Friday night, although he was not among the four pitchers who combined to record the 13-strikeout shutout.

Pence, who has started 670 games since joining the Giants in 2012, will return as a fourth outfielder, Giants manager Bruce Bochy reported Friday.

“I’ll try to get him in there as much as I can,” Bochy said, announcing that Mac Williamson will remain the club’s primary left fielder for a time being. “(It will be) late in games, just like you would a normal fourth outfielder.”

Bochy also announced another demotion will occur when staff ace Madison Bumgarner returns to start Tuesday’s game against Arizona.

Ty Blach, who has started 12 games this season, including Opening Day as a late replacement for Bumgarner, will be moved to the bullpen.

Blach, who started Tuesday’s 11-4 loss at Colorado, will join Melancon as available relievers Saturday, when left-hander Andrew Suarez (1-4, 5.65) attempts to snap a personal three-game losing streak.

Suarez, who has not faced the Phillies in his first seven major-league starts, has been roughed up for 27 hits and 17 earned runs over 19 innings in his last four starts.

The Phillies will counter with right-hander Vince Velasquez (4-5, 4.08), who pitched a 6-3 win over the Giants on May 10, striking out a season-best 12 in six innings.

Velasquez has allowed three earned runs or less in his last five starts, including Monday in Los Angeles when he allowed two runs on three hits in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision during a 5-4 loss.

Velasquez has made two career starts against San Francisco, going 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA.

The Phillies had a surprise visitor in San Francisco on Friday when outfielder Rhys Hoskins flew in from Philadelphia after it was determined he would not need surgery on a hairline jaw fracture he suffered Monday in Los Angeles when his own foul ball hit him in the face.

Hoskins has been placed on the disabled list, but assured teammates he’d be back as soon as possible.

“In my mind, I could play today, but I get it: This is a long-term thing,” he explained. “Obviously you don’t ever want to go on the DL, but for the situation at hand, we got the best news possible: No surgery. Just a little soft food and some time.”

Seven-year minor-leaguer Dylan Cozens started in Hoskins’ outfield spot in Friday’s series opener and recorded a single off Chris Stratton in his first major-league at-bat.

He went on to strike out twice, contributing to the Phillies’ sixth straight game with 10 or more strikeouts, a franchise record.