Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Giants designate Pence for assignment, get Rays’ Robertson

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SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants cut ties with outfielder Hunter Pence on Sunday, ending a second stint with the fan favorite that didn’t go nearly as well as his first.

Pence, 37, was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for utility man Daniel Robertson, who was acquired earlier in the day from the Tampa Bay Rays for cash or a player to be named later.

Pence was a fiery emotional leader for the Giants from 2012-2018, helping anchor teams that won the World Series in 2012 and 2014.

After making the All-Star team with Texas last season, he returned to San Francisco in February on a one-year, $3 million contract but hit just .096 with two homers and six RBI in 17 games.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler said he simply needs to get more looks at younger players who might be a part of the team’s long-term outlook.

“Perhaps the most difficult part of this job is telling a meaningful member of the Giant family that he’s not going to be on our roster going forward,” Kapler said. “It was a very difficult conversation last night. Hunter meant so much to this team and this community.”

Robertson will report to the Giants’ alternate training site in Sacramento. The team also reinstated reliever Sam Coonrod from the 10-day injured list.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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