Hunter Pence's return offered Giants fans an unquestioned bright spot in an otherwise contentious offseason. Now, the depth outfielder is back hitting homers for San Francisco.
Pence went yard in the Giants' 8-4 spring-training win over the Seattle Mariners at Scottsdale Stadium on Sunday. The 36-year-old sent a solo shot over the left field wall for his first homer of the spring, giving the Giants a 2-1 lead over the Mariners.
The Giants reunited with Pence this offseason after he was an All-Star with the Texas Rangers in 2019. San Francisco envisioned Pence as a mentor to the Giants' younger players and a platoon bat against left-handed pitchers.
Pence homered and doubled off right-handed pitchers Sam Delaplane and Carl Edwards Jr., respectively, on Sunday, continuing a torrid start to his orange-and-black reunion. He has four hits in 11 at-bats, slashing .364/.364/.727 in a decidedly small sample size.
If Pence can carry his play at the plate over to the friendlier-than-last-year confines of Oracle Park and its moved-in fences, new Giants manager Gabe Kapler might be able to use Pence in a bigger role than he and San Francisco's front office initially envisioned.