SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will surely remember Hunter Pence's contributions Tuesday night when it comes time to make an offer to the pending free agent this offseason. The rest of the loss to the Colorado Rockies included plenty that manager Bruce Bochy and the brain trust will try to erase from the memory banks.
Pence drove in six runs, but it wasn't enough in an ugly 9-8 loss to the Rockies at AT&T Park. The Giants coughed up an early six-run lead and then fell behind for good when Michael Cuddyer lined a solo homer off closer Sergio Romo in the top of the ninth.
Pence got the Giants off to a thunderous start, hitting a three-run homer off the left field foul pole with two outs in the first inning. The homer was Pence's 20th of the season, making him the first Giant to reach 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in a season since Barry Bonds in 1998. Pence became just the seventh player in franchise history to have a 20-20 season, joining Willie Mays, Bobby and Barry Bonds, Orlando Cepeda, Glenallen Hill and Jeffrey Leonard.
The Giants added another run on Marco Scutaro's double in the second inning and then scored two more in the fourth, with Pence and Buster Posey driving in the runs. Staked to a 6-0 lead, starter Ryan Vogelsong had trouble making it out of the fifth inning.
The right-hander gave up five runs in the frame, three coming on Cuddyer's blast that went high up in the left field bleachers. Vogelsong was charged with five earned runs on eight hits and two walks and has given up nine earned runs in his past two starts while throwing just 9?2/3 innings.
For just the third time in his career -- and first time since 2004 -- Vogelsong started a game and failed to record a strikeout. He threw 80 pitches and got just two swinging strikes. Vogelsong left with the Giants clinging to a one-run lead, and Jose Mijares and Jean Machi combined to give up a pair of runs in the top of the sixth.
The Giants gave up another run in the top of the eighth, but Scutaro and Brandon Belt got the lineup moving in the bottom of the inning with a pair of hits. Pence drove them both in with a flare to right field, tying his career-high with six RBIs.
Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt went through fielding drills Tuesday and is set to come off the disabled list before Wednesday's series finale. Affeldt has missed 49 games with a left groin strain. Right-hander Chad Gaudin has missed 24 games with carpal tunnel, but manager Bruce Bochy said Gaudin isn't quite ready to return and will face hitters one more time.
Bochy said it's possible the club will send Belt home with instructions to do some offseason outfield drills. The Giants have considered moving Belt to left field at times to keep him in the lineup on days when Posey plays first base. In the past, the Giants were hesitant to add too much to Belt's plate, but Bochy said that is no longer an issue.
"Not at this stage of his career," Bochy said. "Earlier, when he was very young in his career, (he was) trying to figure out how to hit major league pitching. I wouldn't be concerned now. He's got confidence. It's when they first come up that you get concerned."
The Giants are tentatively scheduled to open the 2014 season on March 31 in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks. They will play their home opener on April 8, also against the Diamondbacks. The Giants face American League Central clubs in interleague play, a slate highlighted by a September trip to Detroit, where the Giants clinched the 2012 World Series title.
There will be three three-city trips in all, including one through Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles in the season's final weeks. The Giants will conclude the 2014 regular season with 19 consecutive games against N.L. West opponents.
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