WASHINGTON -- About 45 minutes before Tuesday night's scheduled first pitch at Nationals Park, the Giants announced that second baseman Marco Scutaro was scratched from the lineup with a stiff back. Joaquin Arias replaced Scutaro and batted second, as manager Bruce Bochy opted not to alter the batting order for the series opener against the Washington Nationals.
Scutaro, 37, endured back problems in Spring Training and early in the regular season, but had mostly avoided them since. He has started 100 of San Francisco's 118 games -- 97 at second base and three as the designated hitter. A National League All-Star selection this year, Scutaro entered Tuesday batting .304 with two home runs and 23 RBIs.
Arias received his 31st start of the season, and his first at second base. He had started 14 games at third, 10 at shortstop and six at first base.
Neither player entered the game having fared well against Washington starter Gio Gonzalez. Scutaro owned a .105 average (2-for-19) off Gonzalez, compared to Arias' .111 (1-for-9).
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less