With Angel Pagan and Eduardo Núñez hobbled, Giants working with short bench in elimination game

AT&T PARK — Bruce Bochy will be working with a dangerously thin bench as the San Francisco Giants try to win Game 4 and send the series back to Wrigley Field in Chicago.

For the second night in a row, Gregor Blanco will start in left field as Angel Pagan deals with back spasms.

“He’s not going to start the game,” the manager said. “And I’ll know how much I can use him as far as pinch hitting, double switch and those things here shortly as soon as I hear from my trainer.”

Eduardo Núñez (strained hamstring) who pinch hit on Monday night, but hasn’t started since Sept. 25, is also a question mark for the Giants. Before the game, Bochy said the team is discussing removing one or both of the players from the roster.

If the Giants were to do so, neither player would be eligible for the National League Championship Series should the team get that far. Jarrett Parker would take Pagan’s spot, while Ehire Adrianza is the frontrunner to replace Núñez.

— Brandon Crawford is also banged up after taking a pickoff throw to the elbow late in Monday night’s game.

“Crawford’s pretty sore,” Bochy said. “I just finished talking to him. He took a pretty good shot there, but he’s out there. He’s tough. He’s ready to go. It caught him pretty good though.”

— As for the bullpen, Bochy said he’d like to stay away from using Ty Blach the Game 3 winner, who delivered a pair of shutout innings but otherwise has all his relievers available. That list includes Jeff Samardzija, who threw just 47 pitches in his Game 2 dud.

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By Al Saracevic