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Pence logs 3 RBIs as Giants hold off Tigers

MLB.com

DETROIT -- Hunter Pence drove in three runs, two of them on a fourth-inning triple, as the Giants built a lead big enough to withstand a furious Tigers comeback for a 5-4 victory on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.

"It's just getting better all around," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It got a little bumpy there in the seventh, but [starter Ty Blach], what a great game he did, [and] we had some big hits throughout the lineup."

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DETROIT -- Hunter Pence drove in three runs, two of them on a fourth-inning triple, as the Giants built a lead big enough to withstand a furious Tigers comeback for a 5-4 victory on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.

"It's just getting better all around," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It got a little bumpy there in the seventh, but [starter Ty Blach], what a great game he did, [and] we had some big hits throughout the lineup."

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A day after the Tigers rallied late to take the series opener, they nearly topped that feat, coming within a hit of erasing a 5-0 deficit in the seventh inning. But the Giants' bullpen held onto the advantage built against Daniel Norris (4-7), who gave up five runs in defeat for the third consecutive start, and was chased by the fifth for his second straight outing.

Blach (6-5) took a shutout bid into the seventh before a procession of four relievers tried to extinguish the Tigers' rally. Victor Martinez had a two-run single as part of four consecutive hits to open the inning, then hit an eighth-inning double to bring the potential tying run back into scoring position with two out before Cory Gearrin struck out Mikie Mahtook.

"We want to come into games where we've gotta bear down and make big pitches," Gearrin said. "Any time you're having success like that, continuing to do well in those opportunities, I think it's good for each individual guy and collectively as a bullpen."

Gearrin, Hunter Strickland and Sam Dyson combined to retire eight of the last nine batters, with Dyson retiring the Tigers in order in the ninth for his third save in as many chances with the Giants.

Video: SF@DET: Dyson retires Kinsler to record save

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Three-Pence bit: Pence drove in the game's first run on a comebacker that left Norris shaken and unsure whether to throw to first, which he did for an out, or home for what looked like an easier play. Pence's fourth-inning drive to the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center, by contrast, left little confusion about the outcome, clearing runners from the corners and building a 5-0 lead after Brandon Belt's RBI single. It's just the fourth triple for Pence since 2015.

Video: SF@DET: Tomlinson scores on groundout

Gearrin douses the comeback: One night after Justin Upton's go-ahead two-run single, the Tigers' seventh-inning comeback again gave him a chance to be a hero, bringing the hot-hitting outfielder to the plate with the potential tying run on second base and two out. But sidearmer Gearrin -- the fourth reliever of the inning -- attacked with sliders inside until Upton swung and missed at the 2-2 pitch, ending the threat.

Video: SF@DET: Gearrin K's Upton, escapes jam

QUOTABLES
"That's what we were missing when we were struggling. If you look at our two-out RBI numbers, they're not very good. Especially from a couple guys who have a pretty nice history of that. That was missing and those are what help you win ballgames. The timely hits, the two-out RBI hits. We just had a hard time getting them." -- Bochy, on the Giants' four two-out RBIs after entering the game second-to-last in the MLB in that category

"[Head athletic trainer] Kevin [Rand] asked questions like, 'What day is it? Who won the game yesterday?' And then I said, 'How are you related to the GM?' He just laughed." -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, on concussion-test questions to Alex Avila -- the son of Detroit GM Al Avila -- after he took a foul tip in the eighth inning

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Giants' fourth win on their six-game road trip secured a winning record on a road trip for the first time since they went 3-2 from June 29 to July 3, 2016.

WHAT'S NEXT
Giants: Right-hander Johnny Cueto (6-7, 4.26 ERA) will start the finale of this three-game set on Thursday at 10:10 a.m. PT. Cueto has faced the Tigers three times (all in 2015), going 1-2 with a 2.88 ERA. He has a 1.58 WHIP his past five starts.

Tigers: Right-hander Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 6.34) will try to continue his summer revival in the Tigers' rotation when he takes the mound for Thursday's series finale at 1:10 p.m. ET. Sanchez has a 3.14 ERA in three starts, allowing 11 hits over 17 1/3 innings with four walks and 14 strikeouts.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Jordan Horrobin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Giants on Wednesday.