SAN FRANCISCO – Hunter Pence is going well enough at the plate right now that he can even hit Cliff Lee at AT&T Park.
Pence was a triple short of the cycle through three at-bats against the Phillies left-hander Monday night. That he didn't get a fourth spoke to Lee's mastery of the rest of the Giants' lineup over eight innings in a 6-2 Phillies win that snapped the Giants' six-game winning streak.
Lee faced one batter over the minimum through the first seven innings and allowed one run in that span on Pence's sixth homer of the season in the second. Pence also doubled leading off the eighth and scored when Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins made a bad throw on Francisco Peguero's infield single.
That was all the Giants managed against Lee, who improved to 5-0 in six regular-season starts in the Giants' park (though in his lone outing here in October, the Giants beat him in Game 1 of the 2010 World Series). In the one start he didn't win, last April 18, Lee threw 10 shutout innings and got a no-decision.
Pence played right field in that game, too, but wearing a Phillies uniform. He's batting .360 (18 for 50) in his last 12 games, including 8 for 16 four games into this homestand.
Lee outdueled Madison Bumgarner, who had his rockiest outing of the season on an inopportune night. Bumgarner allowed five runs – three in a 22-pitch second inning – in six innings after giving up a total of seven earned runs in his first six starts.
"Command wasn't as sharp as it has been – I think that was the biggest difference," said Bumgarner. "And then the pitches that didn't go where they were supposed to, they hit."
An infield single by Erik Kratz loomed large in the second as Marco Scutaro gloved the ball behind second base but couldn't flip it to Brandon Crawford for an out. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Scutaro "just lost the handle on it" and "would tell you he normally handles that play."
Bumgarner later walked Chase Utley to load the bases with two outs, then allowed a two-run double to Michael Young. He doubled again leading off the fifth and scored on Delmon Young's sacrifice fly before Domonic Brown homered into the cove on a bounce.
"It's hard to be as sharp as he's been every start," Bochy said of Bumgarner. "But their guy threw well."