Hunter Pence was acquired just before the trade deadline to bolster the Giants’ low-scoring offense at home. After going hitless in his first four at-bats on Sunday, he became the hero with one swing.
Pence hit a three-run homer to left in the bottom of the eighth inning to help the Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 9-6 on Sunday afternoon.
“That moment is a big inning for us and we got it done,” Pence said. “A lot of things came together for that opportunity to come up and I think everyone enjoyed it on our team. It was great for the team to come together late in the game and tie it up and win it. It was huge for us.”
The Giants blew a 3-0 first-inning lead, yet managed to come back from a two-run deficit by scoring five runs in the eighth, highlighted by Pence’s clout.
Prior to the home run, Pence struggled, striking out twice and also lining into a double play. He had been 0-for-10 for the Giants in home games before getting an RBI double on Saturday.
“That’s baseball; you’ve got to keep plugging away,” Pence said.
Brandon Belt was 4-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI as the Giants won for the seventh time in their past 10 games to remain one game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.
“I think it was huge just for the fact that we battled,” Belt said. “Now we know that we can battle and come back in any situation, and that’s what happened.”
Giants starter Barry Zito allowed four runs and seven hits in 5¹⁄³ innings. Clay Hensley picked up the win after allowing one run and three hits in two innings for the Giants, who won for only the third time in their past 11 games at home.
Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo combined to close things out with a perfect ninth inning.
Despite blowing the early lead, it proved to be an uplifting victory for the Giants.
“It’s a euphoric feeling when you see that, especially the way that game was loaded with the ups and downs,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “A three-run homer helps make up for a few mistakes that we made today and we had some great at-bats in that inning. We found a way to tie the game and then when Pence’s ball went out, it’s a great feeling because what could go wrong was going wrong for us. But the guys kept battling and that’s a big win for us.”