Apr 9, 2013 1:38 AM by Andrew Masuda

Pence's home run holds up for Bumgarner and Giants over Rockies

SAN FRANCISCO -- This was the kind of game the Giants anticipated as the season approached. The defending World Series champions knew that each and every opponent, particularly National League West foes, would compete fiercely in an attempt to deny them further success. The Giants faced one of those upset-minded challengers Monday, the Colorado Rockies, and outlasted them, 4-2.

The Rockies arrived at AT&T Park with five consecutive victories and, despite the season's early juncture, might have considered themselves just a little more legitimate by extending that winning streak. But the Giants relied on Hunter Pence's three-run homer and clutch pitching to post their seventh win in a row over Colorado.

The Giants, who entered the game batting .224 as a team, remained mostly somnolent offensively in their initial home night game of the season. Fortunately for San Francisco, Pence wasn't sleepwalking. With two outs in the first inning and Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval aboard via singles, Pence clobbered Jorge De La Rosa's first pitch into the left-field seats for his team-high third home run.

Madison Bumgarner didn't come close to matching the sharpness he displayed last Tuesday, when he two-hit Los Angeles through eight shutout innings. But he protected the lead Pence provided, allowing two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Bumgarner issued five walks (one intentional), a total he reached only once last year in 35 starts during the regular season and postseason. Significantly, none of those five runners scored.

Santiago Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt combined to retire all seven batters they faced before Sergio Romo worked the ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.



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