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Focused on baseball, Nunez heating up

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Amid swirling trade speculation, Giants third baseman Eduardo Nunez has hit his stride, rattling off a stretch of crisp offensive production.

Thursday, he tallied two hits to bump his average to .300, up from .246 on May 12. Since returning from the disabled list (hamstring strain) on July 14, Nunez is 8-for-26 with two doubles. He'd love nothing more than to finish the season above .300.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Amid swirling trade speculation, Giants third baseman Eduardo Nunez has hit his stride, rattling off a stretch of crisp offensive production.

Thursday, he tallied two hits to bump his average to .300, up from .246 on May 12. Since returning from the disabled list (hamstring strain) on July 14, Nunez is 8-for-26 with two doubles. He'd love nothing more than to finish the season above .300.

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"That's why we work so hard," Nunez said. "It's why we go to the cage every day. It's why we make adjustments to play this game at a high level. That's the goal."

ESPN's Buster Olney reported Friday that Nunez is the most likely Giant to be included in a deal before the July 31 non-wavier Trade Deadline. That speculation isn't important to Nunez, though.

"The only thing I care about is who's pitching tonight," Nunez said. "I don't control anything in the media, what they say. I prefer to focus on what it takes to win tonight."

Nunez added that his hamstring is a non-issue. He continues to work with team athletic trainers to strengthen the muscle, which forced him to miss 18 games.

"He's been as consistent as anybody," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's a fun player to watch. He can run. He can drive the ball. He can get a big hit for you, knock in a run.

"It has been impressive the way he's just been focused on playing the game versus the distractions that come up this time of year."

Melancon throws off mound

Bochy said Mark Melancon, the Giants' prized offseason acquisition, threw roughly 20 pitches off a mound Thursday.

San Francisco placed Melancon on the disabled list June 28 with a right pronator strain. Bochy indicated he could be activated around the end of July.

"The progression is starting to pick up here a little bit," Bochy said. "He said he felt good. He was very encouraged with how it went yesterday."

Morse returns home

Michael Morse, who sustained a concussion in the aftermath of Hunter Strickland's May 29 incident with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, has returned home to Florida. The Giants placed him on the disabled list shortly afterwards, but the 35-year-old is not in San Francisco currently.

"I haven't talked to him in a while," Bochy said. "But he was excited to spend some time at home to relax with his family. He'll have to make a decision. I don't know where he's at with that yet."

Bochy was unsure if the fan favorite will suit up again this season.

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Giants, Mark Melancon, Michael Morse, Eduardo Nunez