(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Francisco Giants hope to have slugging outfielder Hunter Pence in the lineup on Saturday when they continue their four-game set with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Pence, who has yet to play this season after breaking his left forearm early in spring training, was a pivotal part of the Giants' championship last season, as in addition to being the team's emotional leader, he hit .444 with seven runs and five RBI in the World Series.
"His presence means a lot," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "He brings energy, enthusiasm ... all those things. It'll be good to have him back."
That's not particularly great news for Cincy starter Mike Leake, who comes into this one on the heels of three strong starts.
Leake is 2-1 on the year with a 2.36 ERA, but has given up just one run in his last three starts. Leake did not get a decision on Monday against Atlanta, but was tremendous, as he allowed a run and eight hits in six innings of his team's 2-1 loss.
The right-hander had pitched eight scoreless innings in each of his two previous assignments.
San Francisco, meanwhile, will counter with righty Ryan Vogelsong, who is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA and is also coming off a stellar outing that netted him nothing. Vogelsong did not get a decision on Sunday against the Miami Marlins, despite allowing just a run and four hits in seven innings. He also struck out five without a walk in his team's 3-2 win.
Vogelsong has faced the Reds 17 times (10 starts) and is 3-4 with a 4.52 ERA.
On Friday, Brandon Belt finished 3-for-5 with a three-run homer and three runs scored, while Buster Posey added a two-run blast as San Francisco rolled to a 10-2 win.
Casey McGehee, Angel Pagan, Brandon Crawford and Justin Maxwell each knocked in a run for the Giants, who snapped a two-game losing streak -- including a 4-3 defeat in Thursday's opener -- thanks to exploding for a season high in runs scored.
Madison Bumgarner (4-2) worked seven innings and gave up two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts.
"Ten runs is pretty nice when you're out there pitching," said Bumgarner. "We're playing good right now. I like the way everyone is going about their business."
Zack Cosart and Billy Hamilton went deep for the Reds, whose three-game win streak came to an end.
Jason Marquis (3-3) was out after only three innings, after allowing six runs on seven hits.
Belt got things started on his first-inning blast, which came after Gregor Blanco walked and Joe Panik singled.
"It was a challenge to get back into that ballgame against Bumgarner," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "He had good stuff, as expected. It just wasn't our best ballgame."
The Reds were 5-2 against the Giants last season and have won 12 of the last 16 regular season games in this series at Great American Ball Park. Also, despite Friday's loss Cincinnati is 21-9 in the past 30 meetings with San Francisco.