LOS ANGELES -- Hunter Pence shies away from personal accolades, but he pulled up his highlight reel a few weeks back and had what he calls a "dig-me session," watching all of his homers to remember how strong he has felt at the plate at times.
On Saturday, Pence told first baseman Brandon Belt to do the same. After the way Pence and Belt bashed the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, the Giants may need to purchase a few more video screens. The "dig-me session" twins combined for 13 RBIs in a historic 19-3 win at Dodger Stadium. The 19 runs set a Dodger Stadium record and were the most by the Giants since 1990.
"It's good to have a game when you can relax," manager Bruce Bochy said, smiling.
The lineup never did, scoring in seven of the nine innings and plating multiple runs in six of those frames. The Giants had 22 hits, the loudest being Pence's grand slam in the fifth, the first by the Giants this season. As his first foray into free agency approaches, Pence has repeatedly stressed that he would like to stay with the Giants. The feeling is mutual.
"He's a guy we think a lot of," Bochy said. "That's going to be addressed here soon."
After the first seven-RBI game of his career, Pence reiterated his stance.
"I know on my side, I love it here," he said. "I love playing for Bochy. I love this city. For them to want me means a lot."
The Giants don't just want Pence, they need him. A year after making a postseason splash with his inspirational speeches, Pence is making a difference at the plate. He ranks eighth in the National League with 89 RBIs and is tied for eighth with 23 homers. As a durable (he has started 158 consecutive games), power-hitting outfielder, Pence was already headed for a big payday, but the price seems to rise every day. In his past five games, Pence has four homers and 16 RBIs.
"I don't think I've ever had a run like this," he said.
He became just the sixth player to pile up at least seven RBIs at Dodger Stadium, but Belt nearly added his name to the list. The first baseman followed his "dig-me session" with a career night, driving in a personal best six runs on a career-high five hits, including a two-run homer.
"I'm a little embarrassed that I couldn't be the top RBI guy tonight," he said, laughing. "But no, it was pretty cool. To come out here and do something like that is a lot of fun. It's definitely nice to do it here in L.A."
Belt added that it was nice to pick up a victory and make sure the Dodgers can't clinch the National League West this weekend. The Dodgers will likely celebrate this week, but that hardly mattered to the Giants on Saturday as they put a beating on their fiercest rivals and took an 8-7 lead in the season series.
Told that his lineup, which has struggled most of the season, set a Dodger Stadium record for runs, Bochy paused.
"Really?" he said. "Go figure ..."
The final touches came with the Dodger essentially facing the Fresno Grizzlies. Even then, the runs kept coming. Johnny Monell and Ehire Adrianza, both recently called up from Triple-A, picked up their first career hits as the Giants added seven runs in the final three innings.
"You're happy for a lot of guys," Pence said. "There were a lot of great things happening and a lot of things to appreciate."
The Giants will soon show their appreciation for Pence in the form of a contract offer, and they might do the same for Tim Lincecum, who gave up three runs over six innings to reach 10 wins for the sixth straight season. On this night, even Lincecum joined the hit parade, lining a pair of singles down the left field line.
"I don't know what happened with me," he said. "Half the time I just swing and hope. Today I ran into the ball more than usual. That's the only way to explain it."
Lincecum, like Pence, will be a free agent when the season is over. Both players have said they have tried to block out rumors and any thought about how their performances on the field may affect their markets. That's often hard to believe when millions of dollars are at stake, but after one of the best nights of his right fielder's career, Bochy said he truly doesn't believe that Pence is thinking selfishly.
"I've said so many good adjectives about him," Bochy said. "He's a guy who has been out there every day and you appreciate his intensity on a daily basis."
Giants (Ryan Vogelsong 3-5) at
L.A. Dodgers (Edinson Volquez
9-11), 1:10 p.m. CSNBA
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