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Giants DFA Pence, acquire Robertson in trade with Rays

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The second goodbye for Hunter Pence and the Giants did not include a dramatic sendoff and ride around Oracle Park on a scooter. On Sunday morning, Pence was designated for assignment as part of a series of moves that sent former Tampa Bay Rays infielder Daniel Robertson to the alternate site and got Sam Coonrod back to the bullpen. 

To clear roster spots for both moves, the Giants parted with Pence, who was brought back on the eve of FanFest but has been unable to find the form that made him a surprise All-Star in 2019 with the Texas Rangers. Pence was just 5-for-52 with two homers, which were both three-run shots that came within a span of four days. Since the second one, though, Pence has started just three games in nine days, going hitless in 10 at-bats. 

Robertson, a 26-year-old infielder, was acquired from the Rays for cash considerations or a player to be named later. Coonrod returned after a stint on the IL with a lat strain. Both moves required spots to be opened up. 

The Giants brought Pence back to mash lefties, as he did last year after overhauling his swing, but he had just three hits in 28 at-bats against them. They have found better solutions, both at DH -- where Wilmer Flores has been a star -- and in the outfield. 

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Pence, 37, has remained a wildly popular clubhouse presence throughout the struggles. Manager Gabe Kapler has said repeatedly that he believes in Pence's ability to figure this out in large part because of the work ethic he's showing behind the scenes, and several players credited Pence with helping the club stay positive after an up-and-down stretch early in the year. 

But the Giants are back in the wild-card race after winning five straight, and with Coonrod ready to rejoin the roster, it was time to prioritize production.