Report: Giants targeting Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera, Mike Aviles

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The Giants, in need of infield help, have been considering shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and utilityman Mike Aviles as trade options, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Giants recently got Marco Scutaro back from the disabled list, but he has played in just one game since being activated on July 11.

Cabrera, 28, is earning $10 million this season and is eligible for free agency after the season. To date, he has posted a mediocre .250/.310/.399 with nine home runs and 38 RBI. As Cabrera is subpar defensively at shortstop and the Giants already have a productive Brandon Crawford, they would likely opt to put Cabrera at second base if they happened to acquire him.

Aviles, 33, is earning $3 million this season. His contract includes a $3.5 million club option for 2015 with a $250,000 buyout. He has played at five different positions this season: third base, second base, left field, shortstop, and center field. At the dish, he has compiled a .269/.287/.358 with three home runs, 23 RBI, and eight stolen bases.

The Indians may not decide to sell, however. They enter Saturday’s action at 48-47, 6.5 games out of first place in the AL Central. A good week could prompt them to gear up for a playoff push instead.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.