Hunter Pence’s Clutch Homer Propels San Francisco Giants Past Cubs


The San Francisco Giants never give up. On Sunday, they put on a baseball clinic, showing everyone how you come from behind and win, like they’ve been doing all year.

Singles from Brandon Crawford and Hector Sanchez in the 10th inning preceded Shawn Camp’s balk, which scored Sanchez from third and propelled the San Francisco Giants to an emotional 10-7 victory against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday afternoon.

San Francisco looked dead in the water in the ninth inning after Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval were retired without putting up much of a fight. But Hunter Pence’s home run on Camp’s 2-2 pitch provided the Giants’ dugout with a jolt of energy, and they rode that energy all the way to a victory.

April 14, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence (8) rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Sanchez started what would result in a three-run 10th inning with a single. He advanced to third base on Crawford’s sharp single in the right field gap, and Camp, who appeared to lose his balance, balked home Sanchez which also allowed Crawford to move up to second base. Buster Posey, who got the day off, ended an 0-for-10 slump with an RBI single up the middle to score Crawford. Then, Marco Scutaro laced a two out RBI double down the left field line to end Camp’s odd, yet frustrating outing.

The Giants trailed early thanks to a first inning hiccup by Tim Lincecum, who lasted five innings. He issued a pair of two-run homers in the first inning–one to Starlin Castro and one to Nate Schierholtz. Lincecum only walked one, but yielded six hits to raise his season ERA to 5.63.

Lincecum’s day was cut short when the Giants rallied in the top of the sixth inning and opted to pinch-hit for him. His pinch-hitter, Nick Noonan, put him in line for his second win of the season with a two-run single. Earlier, Pence and Brandon Belt led off the inning with walks. Pence advanced to second on Jackson’s first wild pitch of the inning and came around to score on Gregor Blanco’s RBI double. Belt eventually scored on Jackson’s second wild pitch of the inning when Crawford walked.

Noonan’s two-run single allowed Blanco and Crawford to score, and gave San Francisco a 5-4 lead.

Blanco hit another double to score Belt in the seventh inning. Blanco’s second double of the day raised the score to 6-4 before Alberto Gonzalez pulled the Cubs within one with a solo homer off Chad Gaudin, which prompted a momentum shift, as Chicago scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take a 7-6 lead. Gonzalez contributed in that eighth inning rally with a sacrifice fly that broke a 6-6 tie.