MIAMI -- It's been a disappointing season for the Giants. But one player, Hunter Pence, has been a bright spot lately.Pence collected two hits and an RBI in an 8-3 loss to the Marlins on Monday. For the right fielder, the hits just keep coming in a resurgent August that
MIAMI -- It's been a disappointing season for the Giants. But one player, Hunter Pence, has been a bright spot lately.
Pence collected two hits and an RBI in an 8-3 loss to the Marlins on Monday. For the right fielder, the hits just keep coming in a resurgent August that he's putting together.
Pence is hitting .326 (14-for-43) with three homers and 10 RBIs this month. Giants manager Bruce Bochy has taken notice, too.
"He's been swinging the bat better. He's getting his timing this month here," Bochy said. "He's driving the ball a little better. He's picked up his play."
In the third inning, Pence yanked a 2-1 changeup from Marlins starter Adam Conley into left field to score Denard Span, who got the Giants on the board with a two-run double. The run gave the Giants a short-lived, 3-2 lead.
Again in the fifth, Pence sat back on a changeup from Conley and bounced it into center.
Both of Pence's hits came off changeups, which is a good sign he's keeping his weight back at the plate and, as Bochy said, his timing is better.
Entering Monday, Pence was hitting just .224 (13-for-58) off changeups this season. Against two-seam and four-seam fastballs, however, the mark rose to .247 (37-for-150).
What has also helped Pence is giving his 34-year-old body a breather every now and then. He's started 11 of the club's last 13 games, and since Wednesday, he's had essentially two straight off-days thanks to a postponed game on Friday against the Nationals.
The time off may be keeping Pence's legs fresh as well. He landed on the 10-day disabled list in May for a left hamstring strain. Last year, he went on the DL with a strain of his right hamstring.
"I think some rest here and there has really served him well, too," Bochy said. "I think that's played a part in it, but it's been a better month."
Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami.