Hunter Pence retooled his swing under the guidance of a hitting guru while rehabbing in the minors from a right thumb sprain.
A few days ago Eagles Richard Rodgers Jersey
, he went back to a few things from the old approach and adjusted his stance.
”A smorgasbord weird Hunter Pence swing,” San Francisco’s spirited outfielder said, poking fun at himself.
Pence certainly liked the result Sunday, when he hit a two-run double down the first-base line with the bases loaded and one out in the 11th inning to send the Giants past the San Diego Padres 3-2.
”Still always a work in progress, you never completely figure it out and every day is different. That’s the fun of it,” said Pence, who has primarily been a backup since returning earlier this month from a 40-game absence.
One of his teammates pulled open his uniform shirt in celebration, leaving only the top button intact. Pence said he might require a new jersey.
”Ecstatic,” manager Bruce Bochy said. ”It’s been a tough road for him.”
Brad Hand (1-4) got in trouble fast. He allowed Andrew McCutchen’s one-out double, then intentionally walked Buster Posey and hit Brandon Crawford with his first offering. Pence followed with his 11th career walk-off hit and first since another against Hand two years ago. Pence raised his arms once the ball got past first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Cory Spangenberg had put San Diego ahead in the top of the 11th with a single.
Manuel Margot led off the game with a home run JK Scott Jersey
, and drew a leadoff walk in the 11th from San Francisco reliever Reyes Moronta. After Ty Blach (5-5) relieved, Spangenberg singled off first baseman Brandon Belt’s glove.
A solo homer by each team was it until the 11th.
Belt hit a two-out double in the eighth against Kirby Yates. Padres right fielder Hunter Renfroe made a magnificent catch in foul territory on McCutchen’s flyball, rolling into the first row of fans after the grab.
Posey doubled and singled for the Giants, who concluded a stretch of 17 straight games without a break.
Margot began the game with a 3-2 drive into the left-field bleachers for his second homer of the year. It was his fifth career leadoff home run after hitting four last season. The Giants tied it on a leadoff homer by Gorkys Hernandez in the sixth, his ninth after none in 2017.
McCutchen’s one-out single in the fourth was the Giants’ first hit off Padres starter Eric Lauer.
Giants rookie Dereck Rodriguez stuck out six and walked one over seven innings, allowing one run on four hits in his fifth major league start and third at home – where he remains unbeaten.
The Giants’ rally spoiled a chance for victory by journeyman reliever Robert Stock in his long-awaited major league debut at age 28. He worked out of a tough spot in the 10th after a call-up earlier in the day from Triple-A El Paso.
Joe Panik doubled leading off the 10th before Stock retired the side with a pair of strikeouts.
Stock’s parents were in the stands at AT&T Park in case he got the call.
”I think that knowing the trials and tribulations that some people go through over an entire minor league career as opposed to some people get there like that, maybe makes you appreciate it more,” Stock said.
Padres: Travis Jankowski was a late scratch with left quadriceps soreness and Matt Szczur replaced him in left field. … C Austin Hedges went hitless in his return from the disabled list. He was activated and started, batting seventh, after being sidelined since May 1 with tendinitis in his right elbow. … RHP Jordan Lyles Sergei Boikov Jersey
, scratched in the bottom of the first Saturday just before his scheduled start, was placed on the DL retroactive to Thursday with inflammation in his pitching elbow. He will go home to San Diego and be examined Monday but the injury isn’t considered serious – there is believed to be no structural damage – and as of now the training staff didn’t plan to do any additional exams, though manager Andy Green acknowledged that could change.
Giants: Bochy is encouraged by RHP Johnny Cueto’s first rehab outing as he works back from a sprained pitching elbow. Cueto went 3 2-3 scoreless innings throwing 38 pitches with no walks for Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday and rejoined the Giants on Sunday for a bullpen session. The plan is for another off the mound in five days and likely two more rehab starts, and the next could be with Class A San Jose. ”Right now he feels great,” Bochy said.
Padres: LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-3, 3.86 ERA) takes the mound for the series opener at Texas, making his second start since returning from the DL for a right hip strain.
Giants: Following their first off day since June 7 on Monday, LHP Derek Holland (5-7, 4.48) will pitch Tuesday night against Colorado looking to win back-to-back outings for the first time in 2018.
Like most of the Patriots players, Trey Flowers generally stays under the radar.
Flowers has made his loudest impact on the field and emerged as a key part of the defense during the runs to the Super Bowl in the past two seasons.
Flowers has become one of the leaders on a defense that has finally found some stability after struggling to stop teams early in the season. He has helped fill the void created by Dont’a Hightower’s season-ending shoulder injury.
Flowers missed all but one game during his rookie season in 2015 before being placed on injured reserve because of knee and shoulder issues.
He returned in 2016 and appeared in all 16 regular-season games Brian Gibbons Jersey
, leading the team with seven sacks. His production continued in the playoffs, where he added 2+ sacks.
The 24-year-old has been equally impressive this season.
Flowers again led the team with 6+ sacks, despite missing back-to-back games in December with a rib injury. But he had 12 tackles and a half-sack over his final three games. It was his best three-game stretch of the regular season.
He’s added another sack and eight tackles since the start of the postseason.
Flowers credits the defense’s weekly preparation for creating the opportunities he’s had.
”I think a lot of guys can make plays at any given time,” Flowers said. ”You’ve got a lot of playmakers in this locker room so it’s just one of those things where you’ve got to deal with all of us. Once everybody prepares well and gets ready for the game and things like that, any given down somebody can make a play.”
He said getting back to the Super Bowl is proof of how far the defense has progressed since it ranked at the bottom of the NFL in total defense for nine consecutive weeks during the regular season.
”It’s big. Just the fashion of how we got to (the Super Bowl),” Flowers said. ”It took complete, four-quarter games. It took everybody. It’s pretty big.”
Defensive captain Devin McCourty said the time Flowers has put in over the past two seasons is recognizable to his teammates.
”If you guys talk to Trey you can see he doesn’t talk a lot. He’s not a man of many words,” McCourty said. ”I think that the thing I see from him is now when he feels like it’s time to say something and he wants to say something, it usually makes a big impact on the team because guys know his work ethic.
”They know how much he cares about playing well individually and the success of the team. When he speaks, guys tend to listen.”
Coach Bill Belichick said Flowers is displaying the same conditioning and ability to finish games now they saw when they first scouted him at Arkansas.
”He plays hard Cory Schneider Jersey
, pursues the ball well, played a lot of plays at Arkansas (and) wasn’t substituted for a lot. He was in there and played a lot of important plays, kind of as you would expect him to be given the caliber of his play,” Belichick said. ”He can do a lot of different things for us and has done that. And it’s been very valuable.”
While Flowers thinks the defense has played some of its best football this postseason, he isn’t taking anything for granted.
”We understand we’ve got one more,” he said. ”It doesn’t come easy…The next team is gonna be the best we’ve played all year. It’s a tough task.”