9/8/2013 10:04 P.M. ET
Pence on cusp of achieving 20-20 milestone
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Entering Sunday with 19 home runs, Giants right fielder Hunter Pence needed one more roundtripper to amass at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in a single season for the first time in his seven-year career.
Pence came close with Houston in 2010, when he totaled 25 homers and 18 steals in 27 tries.
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson expressed sincere respect for Pence.
"He's a very aggressive, confident, athletic player," Gibson said. "He hustles his [butt] off with everything he does. He's getting it done."
The only Major Leaguers to accomplish the 20-20 feat thus far are Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez (26 homers, 21 steals before Sunday) and Angels center fielder Mike Trout (23 homers, 32 steals).
Barry Bonds was the last Giant to reach 20-20, hitting 37 homers and stealing 28 bases in 1998. He achieved this combination six times, joining his father, Bobby Bonds (six times), Willie Mays (three), Jeffrey Leonard, Glenallen Hill and Orlando Cepeda (one apiece) as the Giants' only 20-20 performers since the franchise moved west in 1958.
Posey back in action, plays first base
SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey rejoined the Giants' lineup Sunday after a four-game absence with a mild fracture on the tip of his right ring finger.
Injured Tuesday at San Diego when a ball struck his hand while he was catching, Posey played first base in the series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks and went 2-for-5 with a double and a run in the Giants' 3-2 victory in 11 innings.
"He really surprised me yesterday when he took batting practice on the field," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Posey, who boasts a team-high .310 batting average.
Despite his proficiency at the plate, Posey said he felt more discomfort when he gripped a bat than when he threw.
"We'll have to see tomorrow. I can't give you a definitive answer," Posey said after the game regarding when he might resume catching.
The Giants would find it convenient if Posey can catch in Monday's series opener against Colorado at AT&T Park. Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin is the Rockies' scheduled starting pitcher, which usually would prompt Bochy to start left-handed-batting Brandon Belt at first base.
Since a 13-run, 17-hit outburst last Wednesday at San Diego in the first game Posey missed, the Giants scored six runs and batted .250 (23-for-92) in three games without him in the lineup.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.