SAN FRANCISCO -- Dormant through most of the season, the San Francisco Giants' offense displayed genuine signs of life Sunday while amassing season-high run and hit totals in a 13-8 victory over the Minnesota Twins.The Giants collected 17 hits, despite entering the game with the lowest slugging percentage and second-lowest
SAN FRANCISCO -- Dormant through most of the season, the San Francisco Giants' offense displayed genuine signs of life Sunday while amassing season-high run and hit totals in a 13-8 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
The Giants collected 17 hits, despite entering the game with the lowest slugging percentage and second-lowest runs-per-game average in the Major Leagues. They also matched the San Francisco-era (since 1958) franchise record for doubles, smashing eight -- including three by Hunter Pence.
Pence resumed wearing his pants legs high to expose most of his socks, as he has done throughout most of his career, after experimenting with pulling his cuffs to his shoetops Saturday in an attempt to change his luck and end a season-long slump.
"That's the first and probably last time I ever wear my pants down on a baseball field," Pence said. "It was like there was some symbolism there. Time to turn the page and get back to being me."
The Giants pulled away decisively toward the finish, scoring four runs in the seventh inning to erase a 5-4 deficit and adding five runs in the eighth. Rookie left fielder Austin Slater, who went 3-for-5 to lift his batting average to .320, contributed to the final uprising with a well-timed swing on an offspeed pitch to line a bases-loaded triple.
"The swing he took was really impressive," said Buster Posey, San Francisco's cleanup hitter who drove in four runs and also went 3-for-5.
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The Giants, who avoided a three-game series sweep, mustered two runs in the series' first two games but matched that total by scoring twice in the first inning off Twins starter Nik Turley, a former San Francisco farmhand making his Major League debut. The Giants began their late surge by scoring their seventh-inning runs against Twins reliever Matt Belisle (0-1).
"The facts are it's been a very volatile year for me," said Belisle, whose ERA went up to 8.59. "I've never given up so many runs. But I'm really good at saddling back up and putting yesterday behind me. If anything, this is going to make me stronger and more resilient."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Substitutes excel: Giants manager Bruce Bochy employed a lineup that included backups Kelby Tomlinson, Aaron Hill, Nick Hundley and Gorkys Hernandez. They indeed helped San Francisco's cause, combining to go 5-for-15 and score four runs.
Advance notice: Hernandez, playing center field, recorded a fifth-inning out by snaring Miguel Sano's fly ball but aided Minnesota's offense by throwing to third base in an attempt to retire James Dozier, the lead runner. Both Dozier and Joe Mauer advanced, putting Twins on second and third and eliminating the possibility of a traditional double play for the Giants. Minnesota proceeded to score three runs and forge ahead, 5-3, but not for long.
"We had a lead late and scored some runs," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "But we had a leadoff walk in the seventh, which turned into a disastrous seventh and eighth for us. We couldn't control them."
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"It felt really good to be out there. I had a lot of nerves. I'd been waiting and dreaming about that since I was a little kid. This was my ninth year in professional baseball so I waited a long time. It's pretty sweet." -- Turley, on making his Major League debut
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May 29, 2016, at Colorado marked the last time the Giants totaled eight doubles, their highest total since moving west in 1958. Interestingly, Pence also drilled three doubles that day. Brandon Belt added two while Posey, Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco had one apiece.
Twins: The Twins head home from their West Coast road trip to host the Mariners in a four-game series that begins Monday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Left-hander Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.18 ERA) starts for the Twins and has a 3.52 ERA over his last four starts.
Giants: San Francisco will experience a ballplayer's delight -- a full day off at home -- before facing its second Interleague foe in a row, Kansas City. The 2014 World Series rematch will begin Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. PT. San Francisco's Ty Blach will oppose fellow left-hander Jason Vargas in the series opener.
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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and listen to his podcast.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.