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Nunez delivers as advertised in Red Sox debut

Newly acquired utility man logs two hits, walk in loss to Royals
MLB.com

BOSTON -- It didn't take long for Eduardo Nunez to properly introduce himself to the Fenway faithful.

In the third inning of Boston's 4-2 loss to the Royals on Friday, Nunez ripped a ground ball that deflected off the diving glove of third baseman Mike Moustakas into left field for his first hit as a member of the Red Sox.

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BOSTON -- It didn't take long for Eduardo Nunez to properly introduce himself to the Fenway faithful.

In the third inning of Boston's 4-2 loss to the Royals on Friday, Nunez ripped a ground ball that deflected off the diving glove of third baseman Mike Moustakas into left field for his first hit as a member of the Red Sox.

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Boston added Nunez, who was acquired from the Giants on Wednesday, to its active roster prior to Friday's game and optioned infielder Deven Marrero.

That initial hit, plus a walk in his first plate appearance and another single in the fifth, made for a solid first day at the new office for the utility infielder.

A debut performance like Nunez's on Friday only makes the Red Sox more hopeful about their investment.

Video: Dombrowski elaborates on trade for Nunez

"As we've seen across the field, or as advertised," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "A guy that's going to be an aggressive hitter. Very good bat-to-ball skills. Works out a walk, couple of base hits with some hard groundballs through the middle of the field or through the diamond. I thought he swung the bat as we had hoped and really as we expect. A very good first showing for Eduardo."

With Nunez serving as the DH on Friday, the Red Sox still have yet to tip their cap as to how they'll use him defensively. Farrell said that Nunez's flexibility, both offensively and defensively, will be his biggest asset.

"We've been able to acquire a guy who's hitting over .300," Farrell said. "He's got some speed to his game, is a versatile defender, and hopefully he's able to settle in quick and give us the contributions we're anticipating. A quality guy that we've been able to add."

Video: KC@BOS: Farrell talks about the loss to the Royals

While Farrell acknowledged that Nunez has played a majority of his games this season at third base, he says the Red Sox potentially will take a look at Nunez at first base.

"He hasn't played, but [third-base and infield coach Brian Butterfield] and I had a chance to sit and talk to him," Farrell said. "We'll begin to get some reps over there if that's a possibility to get him worked in. This is someone who's had multiple positions, left field included, and we're hopeful to get him regular at-bats, but he'll be moving around."

Video: Nunez adds versatility and gives the Red Sox options

Nunez says that he's ready for whatever the Red Sox ask him to do.

"I just want to play hard, contribute everything I can," Nunez said. "Everywhere they need me. Everything the manager needs, I'll be there."

As for the newcomer's proficiency at the plate, it shouldn't come as a surprise for those familiar with Nunez's work this season. The utility infielder slashed .308/.334/.417 with four home runs, 31 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in 76 games with the Giants this season.

"Obviously played against him for a while, I know what kind of a hitter he is and what he's capable of doing," Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello said. "He's always a tough hitter, a scrappy hitter and he did a good job tonight, getting on base, getting a couple of hits, he will be a big help for us."

Worth noting

The Red Sox activated infielder Josh Rutledge, on the 10-day disabled list with a concussion and left hip soreness, from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday.

Evan Chronis is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston.

Boston Red Sox, Deven Marrero, Eduardo Nunez