Buster Posey returns to the Giants’ starting lineup

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From beat writer Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle comes word that Buster Posey is back in the Giants’ starting lineup on Sunday afternoon against the Diamondbacks after sitting out four consecutive games because of a small fracture at the tip of his right ring finger.

Posey will play first base instead of catcher, and that may be a regular thing down the stretch as the out-of-contention defending World Series champions wrap up their disappointing 2013 regular season.

Posey suffered the fracture on Tuesday night when he was clipped on his right hand by a Madison Bumgarner pitch that bounced off the lip of home plate. The ball also ripped off the nail on his right ring finger — which sounds extremely painful.

Posey, 26, is batting .309/.377/.475 with 14 home runs and 69 RBI in 130 games for the 63-79 Giants.

Watch: Javier Baez snares a 106-MPH ground ball

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What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.

Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.

Dodgers activate Adrian Gonzalez

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The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.