Down on the Farm: Pence hits first rehab homer in grand fashion


The Hunter Pence hitting experiment is becoming more than a small sample size. Showing off his new Mac Williamson-esque swing in Sacramento, the poewer arrived Tuesday night for Pence. 

With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the third inning, Pence unloaded for a grand slam over the left field fence. The 343-foot shot was Pence's first home run since joining the River Cats for his rehab assignment on April 27. 

While the grand slam was easily the highlight of the the River Cats' 10-7 loss, it was just the beginning to Pence's night. In the bottom of the fifth inning, he singled in Austin Slater for his fifth RBI of the night, finishing 2-for-4 against Las Vegas. 

Pence has now been showing off his new swing he learned from hitting coach Doug Latta, the same man who completely changed the way Williamson hits, for 10 games. The results are exactly what Pence and Giants were looking for. 

Over his last 10 games in Triple-A, Pence is hitting .381 (16-for-42). He has also hit safely in all 10 games and six have been multi-hit performances. 

"There are times in your career when it's important that you make some tweaks and change," Bochy said last week on Pence's swing change. "Hunter felt that, and I agree. The fact that this is something that he really wanted is going to make it easier to work out for him."

Though it's only 10 games and he's not in Houston facing Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, it's remarkable to see Pence thrive at the plate with such vast adjustments at 35 years old as someone who has played the game his way, in the most unselfish way possible. 

Around The Horn 

-- As Pence uses his swing, Williamson keep raking. Playing left field Tuesday night in Sacramento, Williamson also went 2-for-4. Since joining the River Cats on his rehab assignment, Williamson is batting .333 with two home runs and six RBI.

-- Jordan Schafer, the former outfielder turned pitcher, tossed another scoreless inning for the River Cats on Tuesday night. 

-- Austin Slater can't seem to crack the Giants' roster, so instead he'll just keep mashing in Sacramento. Slater is on a 17-game hitting streak with the River Cats. He's also batting .396 after two more hits on Tuesday, putting him second among qualified hitters in the Pacific Coast League. 

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