SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants expect to have new infielder Eduardo Nunez in uniform and ready for action when they host the Washington Nationals in the second game of a four-game series Friday night.
The Giants acquired the American League All-Star from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday during their 4-2 loss to the Nationals.
San Francisco sent minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia to the Twins in order to acquire the versatile infielder who was hitting .296 with 12 home runs for Minnesota this season.
Nunez likely will start at third base Friday as the Giants continue to await the return of Matt Duffy from the disabled list. Duffy, who has missed 32 games with an Achilles strain, is tentatively scheduled to begin a rehab assignment in the minor leagues this weekend.
Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Minnesota's 6-2 win over Baltimore on Thursday night. He made his 49th start of the season at shortstop, but he also has received the call at third base 28 times and at second base on four occasions.
“He'll be used as we would use any utility infielder,” Giants general manager Bobby Evans said of Nunez, who leads the AL with 27 stolen bases. “He'll help with his speed and experience and bat, and it gives us some versatility and flexibility.”
Coincidentally, fill-in third baseman Conor Gillaspie was the Giants' most productive offensive player Thursday. He went 2-for-3 on a night when the Giants got only five hits, and he drove in San Francisco's first run with an infield out.
One day after they were held to four hits and one run over seven innings by Tanner Roark, the Giants will see Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer (10-6, 2.92 ERA).
Scherzer has had more than his fair share of problems against the Giants in general and at AT&T Park in particular. He gotten bombed to the tune of an 0-2 record and 7.88 ERA during his career in San Francisco.
He is 1-4 with a 6.85 ERA in five all-time starts against the Giants. That mark does not count Game 4 of the 2012 World Series in Detroit, when he pitched well for the Tigers (three runs in 6 1/3 innings), only to see San Francisco finish off its 4-0 sweep with a run in the ninth off the bullpen.
The Giants will counter Scherzer with Jeff Samardzija (9-6, 4.22 ERA).
Chances are the first batter Samardzija will see Friday night will be Trea Turner, who continued his recent hot run with two hits, a walk, a run, an RBI and a stolen base in Thursday's win.
Nationals manager Dusty Baker indicated before the game that he would flip-flop Turner and Ben Revere in center field.
“It's not to say much, but you'll take any edge that you can get,” Baker said, according to the Washington Post. “And tomorrow will be something different. I'm hoping that I don't have to talk about my lineup every day and we can just go with it and see how it works. I mean, everything is about the odds and who's going good, who hits whom, whether the pitcher matches up better against right-handers or left-handers, if you need more speed. All that goes into my decision.”
Few Nationals are hotter right now than Turner, who has hits in nine of his 10 game appearances since the All-Star break and has reached base in all 10.