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8/3/2014 1:25 P.M. ET

Duffy gets start at second base vs. righty pitcher

NEW YORK -- Intrigued by rookie Matt Duffy's potential, Giants manager Bruce Bochy abandoned his plans to play the right-handed batter only against left-handed pitchers and started him at second base Sunday against Mets righty Bartolo Colon.

Duffy went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in his Major League debut Friday night after the Giants purchased his contract from Double-A Richmond, where he was batting .332 with a .398 on-base percentage. That's enough to prompt Bochy to play Duffy at least semi-regularly.

"I'm going to try to keep him going," Bochy said, amending his Saturday remark about Duffy platooning at second with left-handed-batting Joe Panik.

Bochy added that Duffy -- the Giants' No. 18 overall prospect -- occasionally will fill in at shortstop and third base to rest Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval, respectively.

"He had a terrific year in a tough league to hit. We'll try to keep him sharp," Bochy said of Duffy, 23.

Second base has been the Giants' most unstable position this season. Duffy became the seventh player to start there, joining Panik, Brandon Hicks, Ehire Adrianza, Joaquin Arias, Dan Uggla and Marco Scutaro. By comparison, the Giants have started six first basemen, four left fielders, four center fielders, three shortstops, three catchers, two third basemen and one right fielder.

Ishikawa possesses knack for pinch-hitting

NEW YORK -- More than any other Giants player in recent years, Travis Ishikawa fits an effective pinch-hitter's profile.

Typically, top pinch-hitters are seasoned performers who played at least semi-regularly at some juncture in their careers. Ishikawa has played all or part of seven seasons with a high of 363 plate appearances in 2009.

Pinch-hitters also must remain cool. Ishikawa demonstrated his aplomb most notably in Game 3 of the 2010 Division Series in Atlanta, where he coaxed a key ninth-inning walk from Craig Kimbrel during a two-run rally that propelled San Francisco to a 3-2 win.

Ishikawa thrived off the bench for the Giants in 2010, batting .319 (15-for-47) with a .385 on-base percentage and a .489 slugging percentage in the regular season. Manager Bruce Bochy recalled that he nicknamed Ishikawa "Smoky Burgess," who was a top pinch-hitter throughout 18 Major League seasons (1949, 1951-67).

Ishikawa provided a reminder of his pinch-hitting skill Saturday by rapping a two-run single in the eighth inning, ending Mets starter Jacob deGrom's shutout bid.

"I think he's comfortable doing it, and he has experience doing it," Bochy said. "He has a calmness about him that makes for a good pinch-hitter, and he has a swing that allows him to be a good pinch-hitter."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.