Jake Dunning talks about gaining confidence

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants activated Joaquin Arias from the 15-day disabled list Friday after a July 8 appendectomy sidelined the reserve infielder. In a corresponding move, San Francisco optioned rookie reliever Jake Dunning to Triple-A Fresno.

Entering Friday, Arias was hitting .282 with a .302 on-base percentage and 10 RBIs in 60 games this season. He has appeared at shortstop, third base and first base.

Manager Bruce Bochy said Dunning's demotion was not a result of his performance -- he had a 2.84 ERA in 20 games since joining the Giants. He said the Giants needed a full bench and that Dunning would have been unavailable the next day or two after pitching on four consecutive days earlier this week.

"He did really a terrific job," Bochy said. "He came up ahead of schedule and I loved the way he handled himself and his poise."

Bochy praised Dunning's demeanor on the mound, particularly after allowing a grand slam to the Mets on July 9.

"Sure, you [pay attention to that]," Bochy said. "That moment, the next hitter, the next time he pitches -- it's all important for a young player.

"When you deal with something like that, the good ones put it behind them and he did a great job of that."

Giants pick up pitcher Moscoso from Cubs

COL@TEX: Moscoso strikes out the side in the seventh

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants acquired Minor League starter Guillermo Moscoso from the Cubs on Friday in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations.

The 29-year-old right-hander has appeared in the Majors with Texas, Oakland and, most recently, Colorado. In parts of four seasons, he is 11-12 with a 4.16 ERA and has allowed 186 hits in 192 2/3 innings.

"He's somebody we've had interest in," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's a guy with a good arm we think a lot of, so we're happy to have him in our organization."

In 17 starts with Triple-A Iowa this season, Moscoso was 7-5 with a 3.93 ERA and had struck out 94 batters in 94 innings.

Giants seek identity as Trade Deadline nears

Bruce Bochy on the tight race in the NL West

SAN FRANCISCO -- As Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, Giants manager Bruce Bochy has been asked to assess the club's direction on a daily basis.

While the team outwardly has been noncommittal about buying or selling, Bochy said he has instructed his club, which began Friday seven games behind the first-place Dodgers, to ignore the rumors and distractions leading up to the Deadline.

"I think most clubs think about that," Bochy said. "I have talked to some of the guys. ... If they had a choice, they'd probably keep things where they are."

At 46-55 entering Friday, three teams lead the Giants in the National League West. Their 4.75 starters' ERA is the worst in the National League, the first time San Francisco has held that distinction since September 1991. On top of that, San Francisco's defense also ranks tied for last in the league, with a .981 fielding percentage (only the Angels are worse in all of baseball).

"What helps you win games is pitching and defense," Bochy said.

"We're all disappointed with where we're at. It's not something that can't be overcome. It's not so much where we're at as much as it is getting back to who we are as a club."

Worth noting

• Marco Scutaro was omitted from the starting lineup Friday, but Bochy said it was similar to Buster Posey's day off Wednesday in that there is no injury concern. Bochy said he wanted to give Scutaro, who sat out Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader, a second day to rest after the Giants' off-day Thursday.

• The Giants enter the series with a 7-16 (.304) record against the NL Central this season. Only the Marlins (.217, 5-18) have a worse winning percentage against the division.

• Entering Friday, Hunter Pence had started 110 consecutive games for the Giants, which is the longest streak in the National League and the sixth longest in the Majors. Prince Fielder's 444 consecutive games started were the most in baseball as of Friday. The last Giant to start 110 games in a row was third baseman Pedro Feliz, who accomplished the feat from Sept. 29, 2005, to July 31, 2006. Before that, the last Giant to do so was Barry Bonds from June 16, 1995, to Aug. 22, 1996.