9/15/2013 11:06 P.M. ET
Giants pull Scutaro with stiff back
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro left Sunday's series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers with tightness in his lower back.
Scutaro departed after ending the Giants' half of the third inning by taking a called third strike from Dodgers starter Edinson Volquez. Scutaro went 0-for-2, combined with a first-inning groundout.
Scutaro, who has been bothered intermittently by back discomfort this season, has appeared in 127 of the Giants' 150 games.
Nick Noonan replaced Scutaro in San Francisco's lineup.
Pence's tear puts him next to Giants elite
LOS ANGELES -- Hunter Pence homered twice in the Giants' 4-3 win on Sunday to join Willie Mays as the only Giants to go deep against the Los Angeles Dodgers in each game of a four-game series, but the list of accolades he's accrued during his recent tear doesn't end there.
Pence had already slugged his way into club lore, entering the finale with 16 RBIs in a five-game span. He is the first Giant to produce runs at that rate since Hall of Famer Mel Ott also had 16 RBIs in five games between June 7-12, 1934, according to Jim Henzler of Stats LLC.
In 15 September games, Pence is batting .421 (24-for-57) with four doubles, nine homers and 25 RBIs. His 19 RBIs in his last six games are the most by a Giants hitter in a six-game span since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920.
Pence needs nine more RBIs to match Jeff Kent for the most by a Giant in a calendar month. Kent twice accumulated 34 RBIs in a month, in June 2000 and August 2002.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, in Saturday's 19-3 win Pence the third Giants player since the franchise moved west in 1958 to drive in seven runs by the end of the fifth inning. Kent had seven in the first four innings against Cincinnati on July 24, 1998. Jim Ray Hart amassed seven RBIs after five innings at Atlanta on July 8, 1970.
The Giants' 19 runs on Saturday were the most scored by any opponent at Dodger Stadium and was their highest on the road against the Dodgers since July 3, 1947, when New York defeated Brooklyn that day at Ebbets Field, 19-2. The Giants also recorded their largest margin of victory over the Dodgers since defeating them, 16-0, on July 3, 1949.
Pence finished the series with five homers and 12 RBIs. Philadelphia's Mike Schmidt (1979) and Pittsburgh's Frank Thomas (1958) also homered five times in a series against the Dodgers. As for the series' RBI total, Pence's dozen represents the most against the Dodgers since St. Louis' Ripper Collins had 13 in 1935. The only other Giants player to amass 12 RBIs in a series for the Giants since they moved to San Francisco in 1958 was Dick "The Mule" Dietz, July 6-9, 1970, against Atlanta.
Pence said he was "shocked" to hear his name linked with Hall of Famers and All-Stars.
"When you're mentioned with those names, it's extremely humbling and it's an honor," Pence said. "What they did in the past is part of who we are on the field today."
Zito may get one last start for Giants
LOS ANGELES -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy dropped the slightest of hints Sunday that Barry Zito might receive one more start during the club's 12 remaining games.
Asked Sunday about the scheduled assignments for the club's starting rotation, Bochy said, "Right now, we haven't changed anything."
When a reporter wondered whether Zito might be mixed into the rotation if the Giants needed a sixth starter to rest some tired arms, Bochy said, "I would say he would be the candidate."
Zito's days as a Giant are likely coming to an end. His seven-year, $126 million contract ends with this season. The Giants almost surely will decline to pay him an $18 million option. Zito then would get a $7 million buyout. The left-hander is 4-11 with a 5.91 ERA and has twice been removed from the rotation. Yet he continues to command respect for his ceaselessly positive attitude and the contributions he made during last year's World Series-winning campaign.
Overall, Bochy plans on few lineup changes in the season's final days. Though the Giants will face the non-contending New York Mets in their next series following Monday's scheduled off-day, Bochy said that he'll continue to play mostly regulars, while mixing in a rookie here or there -- as he did Saturday night, when Nick Noonan started at second base.
"I don't see [the lineup] changing too much," Bochy said.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.