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Grateful Pence finishes third in Final Vote

SAN DIEGO -- Giants right fielder Hunter Pence was sincerely gracious Thursday as he congratulated Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman for winning the National League portion of the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by

Pence also expressed deep gratitude toward Giants fans for their support. Pence finished third in the five-man election, behind Freeman and Los Angeles outfielder Yasiel Puig and ahead of Washington shortstop Ian Desmond and Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

"All five of us are deserving. I'm happy for Freddie," Pence said. "This is his first [All-Star Game], so that makes it more special."

Pence was an All-Star in 2009 and 2011 while with the Astros. He praised Giants fans for showering him with encouragement -- and votes -- despite the club's colossal slump.

"I want them to know their efforts are greatly appreciated," he said. "I wish I could explain to them how much their effort for me means."

Chris Haft is a reporter for
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