SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Hunter Pence has been a big part of San Francisco’s resurgence since returning from left wrist tendinitis earlier this month. Manager Bruce Bochy is not surprised.
Pence had four hits and drove in two runs, Brandon Belt had three RBIs and the Giants won their third straight, beating the Oakland Athletics 9-3 in an interleague game Friday night.
”He’s one of our guys. He makes a difference,” Bochy said. ”That’s why we signed this guy. He has so much energy and the talent, too. We’re clicking everywhere and that’s what it’s going to take down the stretch.”
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Pence is hitting .353 (18-for-51) since returning from the disabled list on July 7 and driven in 14 runs in the last 12 games. The Giants are 10-2 since he returned to the lineup.
”It’s a good feeling this time of the year to be involved in a race to play some playoff games,” Pence said. ”We’re just trying to put up good at bats. It’s really just, keep grinding.”
Jake Peavy (2-4) pitched six strong innings to earn his second straight victory. Buster Posey extended his hitting streak to 10 games with three hits and drove in a run, and Joe Panik and Angel Pagan each also drove in runs for the Giants, who won their ninth in 10 games.
Ben Zobrist hit a home run for the A’s, who lost their third in four games. Eric Sogard and Billy Burns, who left the game early with an injury, also drove in runs.
Burns left after the third inning with a testicular contusion, the result of fouling off a ball during his at-bat in the top of the inning. He took several minutes to gather himself following the incident and finished the at-bat. He recorded an RBI groundout.
Pence is hitting .353 (18-for-51) since returning from the disabled list on July 7 and driven in 14 runs in the last 12 games.
Peavy allowed three runs and five hits in just his sixth start of the year. The former Cy Young Award winner missed two months with a back strain and hip discomfort. Peavy did not walk a batter and struck out two.
Jesse Chavez (5-10), who threw six scoreless innings in his last outing, went a season-low three innings. He gave up four runs and eight hits, walked two and struck out one. Billy Butler added three hits for the A’s.
”They put great at-bats together,” Chavez said. ”They didn’t give in, they didn’t chase down, they didn’t expand the zone. You have to tip your hat to them on that point.”
Pagan was 3-for-4 with a walk after getting three hits in his previous 19 at-bats. He has not hit a home run in his last 635 at-bats, the longest active streak in the majors.
Athletics: Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte threw exclusively from the right side during his one-inning rehab appearance with the Single-A Stockton Ports on Thursday and will throw exclusively from the left side on Saturday. … LHP Sean Doolittle (left shoulder strain) will throw on flat ground Saturday and will likely throw a bullpen at the end of the month. … RHP Taylor Thompson (right shoulder strain) allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning for the Ports and pitches again Sunday. … OF Coco Crisp (cervical strain) is expected to begin a rehab assignment soon.
Giants: RHP Tim Lincecum (right forearm contusion, hip injury) continues to rehab. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he expected Lincecum to pitch again this season. … OF Nori Aoki (fractured right fibula) will make a couple more rehab starts before returning. He worked out at AT&T Park on Friday.
ANGEL IN THE BULLPEN:
The A’s recalled RHP Angel Castro from Triple-A Nashville and optioned RHP Arnold Leon to Nashville before the game. Castro makes his second tour this year. He was 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in four games in May. Leon was recalled Thursday for his fourth stint with Oakland and tossed 3 1/3 innings against Toronto.
Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt (0-2, 2.93) will be recalled from Triple-A Nashville to start Saturday. He has made three starts for the A’s, the last on July 11.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (10-5, 3.27) makes his fourth career start against the A’s, his first at home. He’s 1-2 with a 6.41 ERA against them.