Hunter Pence homers in fourth consecutive game to lead Giants to victory over Dodgers

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At the same time the Giants have expressed interest in extending him, outfielder Hunter Pence has caught on fire at the plate. He entered this afternoon with homers in three consecutive games, and in four out of his last five. He drove in seven runs last night against the Dodgers and drove in six on Tuesday against the Rockies. Overall in September, he came into today’s action with seven homers, 22 RBI, a stolen base, and a .407/.476/.870 line.

Pence kept the hot streak going today, driving a solo shot to left-center against Dodgers starter Edinson Volquez. He added a two-run home run to left in the sixth, knotting the game at 3-3.

Starter Ryan Vogelsong kept the Giants in the game, allowing three runs over six innings. All three runs came on one mistake to Adrian Gonzalez as the Dodgers first baseman hit a bases-clearing double to right field in the bottom of the fifth.

Brett Pill put the Giants ahead 4-3 in the eighth inning with a solo shot to left. Giants relievers Jean Machi, Santiago Casilla, and Sergio Romo combined for three scoreless innings to complete the 4-3 victory. For Romo, it marks his 35th save of the season. The Dodgers’ magic number remains at four.

Kris Bryant on Joey Votto: “He’s the best player ever … He’s a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

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The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.

As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”

Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”

Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.

Video: Daniel Descalso hits D-Backs’ third inside-the-park homer of the season

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Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.

It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.

As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.