Pence drives in 3, Giants beat Phillies 3-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 23, 2014 at 11:16 pm •  Published: July 23, 2014
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — There are no secrets to Hunter Pence's approach to hitting in crucial situations. His simple strategy worked again.

Pence drove in all of San Francisco's runs with a double in the ninth and Madison Bumgarner pitched eight scoreless innings to lead the Giants to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.

"Just go up to compete, try to see the ball and hit the ball," Pence said.

Bumgarner (12-7) gave up five hits while striking out six and walking none in a pitchers' duel with A.J. Burnett.

"It was good to get quick outs tonight," Bumgarner said.

It was the sixth win in seven games for first-place San Francisco, which moved two games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. The Giants will look to sweep the four-game series on Thursday.

One night after blowing just his third save in 26 chances, closer Jonathan Papelbon (2-2) took the loss.

The Phillies' offense, which ranks near the bottom of the NL in several categories, managed just seven hits. They lost their fourth straight and seventh of eight.

"It's really been the problem we've had the last three games, stranding guys out there," Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. "And it came up big tonight."

Pence broke a scoreless tie with a softly hit blooper down the right-field line off Papelbon on a full count with two outs.

"Pence is the guy you want up there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He has the knack of putting the ball in the right place. . Pence is amazing. He has so much energy and he's relentless. We're lucky to have him."

Whether the last two games have an effect on Papelbon's trade prospects remain to be seen. The Philadelphia closer recently has been outspoken about his interest in moving to a contender.

"Whatever happens happens," Papelbon said. "I have no control over it."

He dismissed the notion that his value would be diminished by his last two outings.

"If you were to put the entire season into two games, it would be pretty dumb," he said.

Marlon Byrd drove in Philadelphia's run in the ninth off Santiago Casilla, who converted his seventh save in 10 chances.

The game was delayed for 59 minutes by a thunderstorm. Following resumption in the top of the fourth, the game was played in a persistent drizzle that got heavy at times until the rain finally stopped for good in the eighth inning.

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