Pence's slam helps Giants beat Diamondbacks 6-2

Associated Press Modified: September 15, 2012 at 2:01 am •  Published: September 15, 2012
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PHOENIX (AP) — Hunter Pence has the most RBIs on the San Francisco Giants since he was acquired in a deadline deal with Philadelphia.

Now he's looking for a few more hits.

Pence belted his first grand slam in more than four years, Matt Cain dodged trouble for five-plus innings and the Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 on Friday night.

Pence has 34 RBIs and 37 hits with San Francisco. He is batting .233 with four homers in 41 games with the Giants.

"I need to get more hits is what that tells me," Pence said, "Make them pitch to (Buster) Posey with runners on."

Pence's third career grand slam capped a five-run third inning for the NL West-leading Giants, who won for the third time in four games and are 11-5 in their past 16.

Cain sparked the outburst with a leadoff walk and moved to second on Marco Scutaro's one-out infield single. After Pablo Sandoval singled to center to load the bases, Posey hit a grounder to third and Cain slid under Ryan Wheeler's throw on a close play to make it 1-0.

Pence followed with a long drive into the left-field stands for his 21st homer of the season.

"You can never walk the pitcher," Diamondbacks starter Tyler Skaggs said. "I thought they were good pitches but I ended up walking him and then the whole inning kind of exploded."

Cain (14-5) walked three in the first and stranded five runners over the first two innings.

The right-hander allowed four hits, walked a season-high five and also hit a batter. He was charged with one run and struck out two.

"That was a gutsy effort," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It just got to a point where I had to go get him."

Cain failed to make it through six innings for the second time in his last three starts.

"I couldn't put away some guys like I wanted to," Cain said. "I got too fine with some pitches."

Reliever Santiago Casilla also drove in a run for the Giants, who remained 7½ games ahead of Los Angeles with 18 games remaining. The Dodgers beat St. Louis 8-5 on Friday night.

Chris Johnson drove in both runs for the Diamondbacks, who stayed 4½ games behind the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot. Skaggs (1-2) allowed five runs and five hits in four innings after lasting only three innings in his previous start against San Diego on Sept. 7.

"It's been unacceptable on my part the last two outings," the 21-year-old left-hander said. "It's almost been embarrassing."

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