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09/18/12 9:54 PM ET

Clemente nominee Cain takes pride in giving back

SAN FRANCISCO -- A fixture in the Giants' rotation and the Bay Area community since his Major League debut in 2005, Matt Cain was named the Giants' nominee for the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.

The award recognizes a Major League player who best represents baseball both on and off the field through sportsmanship and community involvement, with fans being able to vote through Oct. 14 at MLB.com/ClementeAward to help decide the winner.

Cain is in the midst of a 14-5 season, which includes a June 13 perfect game and starting the All-Star Game for the National League. In addition, Cain lends his time and energy to various charities in the community, including Project Open Hand and the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation, as well as several other local and national organizations.

"You try to do as much as you can on the field, and then off the field you're really going to find different things to do, and that's something that's become more and more special to me," Cain said. "It's something I've taken more and more pride in, trying to find things that are close to my heart."

The Giants honored Cain during a pregame homeplate ceremony Tuesday, and Cain will make a $7,500 donation to the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish foundation on behalf of Chevrolet and Major League Baseball.

"Matt does so much, not just for the club but for the community," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We love him professionally and personally. He's such a tremendous person and does all he can to help out in the community, and this is an honor. It really is, and we're proud of him."

Pence heating up, coming through for Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though his early production may not have met the expectations of excited Giants fans after his arrival from the Phillies at the Trade Deadline, Hunter Pence has strung together a stretch in which he has hit safely in 17 of his last 20 games entering Tuesday.

"Hitting is a funny thing; it's hard to explain sometimes," Pence said. "You can be feeling pretty good and getting out, and sometimes you won't be feeling great and getting on. I feel fine, and I feel good. I'm going to keep going up there and stick with what I'm trying to do and it's been working out."

Pence had the go-ahead RBI in Monday's 2-1 win against the Rockies when he singled home Pablo Sandoval in the sixth. His 35 RBIs since joining the Giants is the most on the club, and his 94 RBIs this season rank sixth in the National League.

Pence had initially batted .191 in his first 24 games with the Giants before the recent 20-game stretch, in which he is batting .284.

"I think he's gotten settled in over here and [his] at-bats have gotten better and better," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's gotten some big hits for us, and I think we've got a good player. As he gets some time here, he's getting more and more comfortable. It's not that easy to get traded to a different club, but he's settled in and now his bat's picking up."

Monday's RBI marked his 27th go-ahead RBI this season, tied for third in the NL, as well as his 15th game-winning RBI. It hasn't hurt Pence's RBI totals having to hit behind Marco Scutaro and Buster Posey, who have a combined .417 on-base percentage since Pence joined the lineup in August.

"That's what's important; I'm helping the team win," Pence said. "Hitting when it matters, timely hitting is important to me and it's important to the team. I just try to keep it simple and do what I need to do, especially with the kind of team that we have and the kind of pitching that we have. This team allows you to just keep it simple and do your thing."

Jay Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.