Brandon Crawford, Joc Pederson return as Giants lineup slowly reassembles

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Crawford, Joc return as Giants lineup slowly reassembles originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

OAKLAND -- Joc Pederson and Brandon Crawford are back in the Giants’ lineup.

San Francisco reinstated both players Saturday ahead of their series opener against the Oakland Athletics -- Game 3 of the 2022 Bay Bridge Series. To make room on the roster, the Giants optioned infielder David Villar to Triple-A Sacramento and designated infielder Dixon Machado for assignment.

Crawford returns after spending three weeks on the injured list due to knee inflammation, his second stint on the IL due to the same issue. He’s batting sixth and playing shortstop against the A's, his first game since July 15. In 72 contests this season, Crawford is batting .215/.297/.332 with five home runs and 57 strikeouts.

Pederson returns to the Giants after a stint on the 7-day concussion injured list. Pederson suffered the injury crashing into the wall while attempting to rob a home run during the Giants’ 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on July 28.

The Giants went 2-5 without Pederson’s bat in their lineup.

Pederson, who will be a free agent after the season, was one of San Francisco's top candidates to be traded at Tuesday's deadline along with left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodón. But president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi opted to hang on to both the left-handed slugger and the Giants' ace.

Pederson is batting leadoff and starting in left field against Oakland, and Rodón will make his first start since the deadline.

Ahead of Saturday's tilt, manager Gabe Kapler also said it’s likely Thairo Estrada will be active for Sunday’s series finale, and a return for third baseman Evan Longoria also is possible.

Riding a four-game losing streak into the final two contests of the Bay Bridge Series, familiar faces returning to the Giants' lineup is a relief as the club fights to stay in the National League playoff race. Entering Saturday's slate of games, San Francisco is seven games out of the final wild-card spot.

RELATED: Zaidi, Baer hear fans' frustrations over lack of superstars

Rodón will take the ball Saturday night as San Francisco battles their AL rival. Tune in to Giants Pregame Live at 3:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

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