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Pence fine after collision with outfield wall

DENVER -- Giants right fielder Hunter Pence hit the wall hard in the first inning Monday but stayed in the game. He was chasing a drive hit by Michael Cuddyer, who ended up with a triple when Pence had the ball come out of his glove upon hitting the wall and he ended up on the ground.

"I just knocked the wind out of myself," he said. "Couldn't breathe, couldn't move for a minute, but now I'm good."

Pence was running full speed when he hit the wall and said he thought he had "another step or two" before impact. Asked whether it was a scary moment, Pence said, "I wanted to be able to pick up the ball. That's not a good feeling when the ball's on the ground and you can't get it. But I was fortunate I didn't sustain anything serious."

Manager Bruce Bochy and two athletic trainers ran from the Giants dugout on the third-base side out to see Pence. He said once Bochy saw Pence was all right, there was a light moment when Bochy said "he needed me to rest a minute so he could get back."

Pence started his 140th consecutive game, the longest streak in the National League, and said he expected to be in the lineup Tuesday.

"It's an honor," Pence said of his streak. "I'm grateful to play. Every day I enjoy competing at the Major League level. So I'm blessed to get the opportunity. As a kid growing up, I never would have dreamed I'd get to play one day in the Major Leagues, let alone get to play every day. So I'm just grateful."

Before the game, Bochy said Pence had earned the right to keep starting for the balance of the season even with the rosters expanding Sept. 1.

"When you get a guy in a streak like this, it gets tougher [to not start him] as the year gets deeper because he wants to stay out there, keep it going," said Bochy. "He's the one guy that's earned the right to be out there every day; as long as he feels fine he'll probably be out there. But I'll check on him.

"If there's certain games where I can give him a break, things go awry, I'll pull him out, but now that he's gotten through the tough part of the schedule, he's going to want to be out there. Really, our appreciation for him to be out there every day, I think he's earned to be out there the rest of the way."

Since the All-Star break, Pence is hitting .324 (45-for-139) with nine doubles, one homer and 16 RBIs.

Jack Etkin is a contributor to
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