SAN DIEGO (AP) — Hunter Pence isn’t slowing down even though his seven-year run with the San Francisco Giants — which includes two World Series titles — is coming to an end.
The 35-year-old Pence homered, doubled and drove in three runs, and rookie Chris Shaw hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the eighth inning as the Giants rallied to beat San Diego 5-4 on Tuesday night, assuring that the rebuilding Padres will finish last in the NL West.
Used mostly as a pinch-hitter this year, Pence made his 41st start of the season, in right field.
“I try to enjoy and give everything I have every day,” Pence said. “It’s been pretty special. It’s been an incredible trip for me being part of the Giants organization for this long, and I’ve loved every bit of it. I’m going to continue to do so until it’s officially over.”
His contract expires at the end of the season.
“Nice game by Hunter. Good for him,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He has a different role and he just keeps working, keeps himself ready. It’s good to see him have some success.”
Pence said he’s “constantly working to get better. I’ve been working on a small adjustment and it’s starting to feel better, so I’m continuing to do that. I love to play. I love the game. It matters. It matters to all of us.”
Shaw’s bases-loaded flare fell in just in front of diving left fielder Hunter Renfroe, and Nick Hundley and Brandon Crawford came racing home to give the Giants the lead. Craig Stammen (8-3) loaded the bases with no outs before getting Pence to ground into a force at home, but then gave up Shaw’s decisive hit.
Pence had a big night otherwise, hitting a two-run homer in the second, his third, and adding an RBI double in the fourth to give the Giants a 3-2 lead.
“It’s huge,” Giants starter Derek Holland said of Pence. “The guy brings a lot to the table. I know the fans know it. For him being here as long as he has, they’ve seen everything. He may not be playing every single day, but he’s going to bring everything he can to the table to help this team win. He’s got a great attitude. Very high competitor. I love what he does for this team. Whether he’s in the game or not, he’s going to give you everything, he’s going to be behind each guy, he’s going to help everybody, keep them motivated. I think that’s huge for a guy like him. He’s a perfect teammate. A great teammate. He definitely deserves a lot more praise than he’s getting.”
Freddy Galvis had four hits and scored twice for the Padres, who dropped to 60-92, one more loss than last year with 10 games to play. Ownership expected the team would improve from last season, when it finished 71-91, seven games better than San Francisco.
Sam Dyson (4-3) pitched the seventh for the win. Will Smith worked the ninth to earn his 14th save, allowing Galvis’ one-out double before striking out rookie Franmil Reyes and Renfroe.
Reyes gave the Padres a 4-3 lead on his two-run homer in the fifth off Holland that had to withstand a video review for potential fan interference. It was determined that a fan who went for the ball didn’t interfere with Shaw in left field. It was Reyes’ 16th and it came with pinch-hitter A.J. Ellis aboard on a leadoff walk.
Reyes also hit an RBI single in the third and Renfroe had an RBI double in the first.
“We’re thrilled we got Franmil,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “He looks so good. He’s become one of the success stories. Drafted by us, developed by us.
“We’ve got a couple rookies this year doing extraordinary things in the National League, which you typically don’t see,” Green added. “Where he is right now, he’d be in a lot of conversations for Rookie of the Year. He’s played that well. Numbers just trending up every day. He’s had so many big hits for us. We’re definitely pleased he’s in a Padres uniform.”
Holland allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked two.
Padres rookie lefty Joey Lucchesi yielded three runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out eight and walked one.
“I always try to fight for my boys,” Lucchesi said.
Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (10-9, 4.66 ERA) is scheduled to start the series finale Wednesday night. He’s coming off his first career shutout, 2-0 against Colorado.
Padres: LHP Robbie Erlin (3-7, 4.27) is looking for better luck after tying his career high by losing four straight starts.
© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.