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Leadoff man Span providing spark for Giants

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- On an otherwise quiet night from the San Francisco Giants' offense, Denard Span continued to produce in an effective manner atop the lineup.

Thursday's two-hit performance, as the Giants lost, 5-2, to the San Diego Padres, was part of a larger trend for the 33-year-old center fielder. Over his last 19 games, Span is batting .325 with 13 runs, 10 extra-base hits and nine RBIs.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- On an otherwise quiet night from the San Francisco Giants' offense, Denard Span continued to produce in an effective manner atop the lineup.

Thursday's two-hit performance, as the Giants lost, 5-2, to the San Diego Padres, was part of a larger trend for the 33-year-old center fielder. Over his last 19 games, Span is batting .325 with 13 runs, 10 extra-base hits and nine RBIs.

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The veteran said after Wednesday's game he'd like to remain a part of the organization for the remainder of his contract. Span is signed through 2018; the Giants have a team option for 2019.

"I think we know we've come up short this season but we know that we also still have a lot of good talent," Span said. "And guys that vibe. I hope they don't blow this thing up all the way. ... Me personally, I hope that I'm here to be a part of the second half and next year."

Span's timely hitting played a hand in the Giants' lone run-scoring inning Thursday. After Gorkys Hernandez doubled, Span singled two batters later to score his fellow outfielder. Though it doesn't count toward a quantifiable statistic, Span made a heads-up play to set the Giants up for another run. He advanced to second when Padres right fielder Hunter Renfroe's throw missed the cutoff man and nearly hit the backstop. Eduardo Nunez then singled home Span.

Span also led off the fourth with a double, but the Giants couldn't bring him home after he advanced to third base with one out.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has been impressed with Span's recent offensive outburst. Span's recorded at least one hit in nine of the last 11 games.

"He's doing what you hope your leadoff hitter does," Bochy said. "He's been a catalyst, gotten big hits. He's driving the ball and getting extra-base hits."

Combined with No. 2 hitter Nunez -- who rejoined the Giants' lineup after the All-Star break -- the Giants have top-of-the-order production. Bochy said he hopes the rest of his lineup follows the tone Span sets.

"Denard's playing pretty good baseball," Bochy said. "He's seeing the ball well. Between he and Noonie, we're getting a lot of good things at the top of the order. Just have to get some consistency throughout."

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Giants, Denard Span