Hunter Pence continued his chase to the 100 RBI plateau with a big night, and the San Francisco Giants prevailed, blowing out the Los Angeles Dodgers 19-3.
Pence totaled seven RBI, a career high. This mark comes just a few days after the impending free agent collected six RBI against the Colorado Rockies on September 10. Add it all together, and Pence has a whopping 16 RBI over his last five games and 89 for the season.
The Giants were already up large, but Pence’s fifth-inning grand slam put things out of reach for a less-than-full-strength Dodgers’ lineup.
It wasn’t just Pence, however.
Angel Pagan led off the game with a double. Gregor Blanco followed with a walk, and the Giants’ busy night commenced.
Brandon Belt’s RBI single knocked in the first run. After Buster Posey singled, Pence knocked in his first of seven. With a little help from Juan Uribe, who bobbled Pablo Sandoval’s slow-roller, the Giants extended the inning just long enough to score on Ricky Nolasco’s bases-loaded free pass.
Nolasco, who attracted the interest of the Giants in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, lasted just 1.1 innings. A three-run first inning by San Francisco had him skating on thin ice. But another dud in the second sent him to the showers very early.
Blanco singled and Belt reached on an error by Yasiel Puig—it could’ve gone to Mark Ellis, as three fielders were all in the mix for the ball.
The Giants capitalized on the miscue. Pence’s single down the right field line scored Blanco and Belt, and Sandoval’s ensuing double scored a pair as well.
Belt also had a big night, knocking in six runs on a 5-for-6 performance. He drove in the first run of the game in the first, tacked on another in the third and added to the blow out with a two-run homer in the seventh, making the score 14-3. To further make the score look, well, weird, Belt blooped a single down the right field line in the eighth inning to score two.
The beneficiary of the slew of run support was Tim Lincecum, who also had two hits. Lincecum worked six innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out six.
Lincecum started to struggle in the fifth, when he served up a solo homer to Alex Castellanos. He drilled Yasiel Puig’s right shoulder with a fastball, and allowed a single to Nick Buss. Adrian Gonzalez then knocked in Puig. Gonzalez’s RBI groundout in the first marked Lincecum’s other blemish.
Bruce Bochy unleashed his September call-ups in the later innings, and plenty of “firsts” followed.
Spring Training sensation Johnny Monell picked up his first major league hit in the eighth, a clean single to right field. Nick Noonan also singled, setting the stage for Belt. Monell came around to score on Belt’s double, and Noonan scored on Blanco’s RBI single.
An inning later, Monell knocked in his first major league RBI.
Another first came in the ninth: Ehire Adrianza’s first major league hit and RBI. It knocked in Juan Perez, who reached on a double. It also made the score 18-3.
On the pitching side, Heath Hembree pitched an easy seventh inning, and George Kontos did the same in the eighth. Mike Kickham also got an inning of work in the ninth.
San Francisco’s 19 runs on Saturday at Dodger Stadium is their new team record, and…a Dodger Stadium record. I’ll leave it at that.