Buster Posey. (Jacob C. Palmer/S.F. Examiner)

Giants aim to save Buster Posey’s knees before All Star Break

DETROIT — A couple days after being named the starter at catcher for the National League in the All Star Game, Buster Posey will play a different position.

It’s a part of manager Bruce Bochy’s efforts to save Posey’s legs ahead of the All-Star Break next week.

So Posey will be the San Francisco Giants’ designated hitter for the first two (today, Wednesday) of their three-game set against the Detroit Tigers.

“This way I can run him out and play him every game until the All Star Break,” Bochy said before Tuesday’s game.

In two games as a DH, Posey is 4-for-9.

Nick Hundley will take over behind the plate with the current batting leader working part-time.

Historically, Hundley has struggled catching running baserunners. But that shouldn’t be too much of an issue against the Tigers, who rank No. 27 in the MLB with 26 stolen bases. Even worse, they’ve been caught stealing 20 times, making Detroit one of the worst baserunning teams in baseball.

Nunez suffers setback

Eduardo Nunez (hamstring) was on a rehab assignment and expected to be activated as far back as Friday.

Instead he was pulled after playing five games in Double-A Richmond, because he “just didn’t quite feel right,” according to Bochy.

“[Nunez] felt some discomfort so we brought him back here,” Bochy said. “He’s going to continue to get treatment and we’ll wait until he feels closer to 100 percent.”

Slater stabilizes LF

Rookie Austin Slater has started the last five games for the Giants in left field, providing a consistent presence at a position they cobbled together and struggled to fill through most of the first half.

During San Francisco’s current six-game winning streak, the former Stanford Cardinal has hit 5-for-17 with a home run. He’s also played reliable defense at a position played by infielders several times this season.

“It’s an area we needed some production,” Bochy said. “We weren’t getting much there to be honest. He’s given us that.”

He’ll hit in the nine hole on Tuesday in Detroit.

Lineups

SF

Denard Span, CF

Joe Panik, 2B

Hunter Pence, RF

Buster Posey, DH

Brandon Belt, 1B

Brandon Crawford, SS

Jae-gyun Hwang, 3B

Nick Hundley, C

Austin Slater, LF

Starting pitcher: Matt Cain

DET

Ian Kinsler, 2B

Alex Avila, C

Justin Upton, LF

Miguel Cabrera, 1B

J.D. Martinez, RF

Victor Martinez, DH

Nick Castellanos, 3B

Mikie Mahtook, CF

Jose Iglesias, SS

jpalmer@sfexaminer.comaustin slaterBruce BochyBuster Poseyeduardo nunezMLBSan Francisco Giants

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