ST. LOUIS -- Apparently, Hunter Pence isn't the only one capable of a rousing speech.

Manager Bruce Bochy gave the slumping outfielder a pep talk before Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.

Pence responded with a 451-foot home run in his first at-bat.

It was a welcome sight for a Giants offense that was in desperate need for more than just words. Pence entered the night 5 for 31 (.161) this postseason. His second-inning home run Thursday represented his first extra-base hit and first RBI.

One miserable night earlier, Pence blamed himself for the Giants' 3-1 loss, saying "I'm the goat today. I didn't get the job done."

That's what prompted Bochy to approach the two-time All-Star.

"He was pretty hard on himself after the game. I just said, 'We don't do that here,' " Bochy recounted. "We all could have done something maybe to help in that ballgame. I looked at myself and thought of things I could have done differently.

"But (Pence) took full responsibility, which he shouldn't have."

Pence was just 1 for 11 (.091) in the first three games against the Cardinals. In the previous series, against the Cincinnati Reds, his biggest contribution was a Knute Rockne-style speech credited for helping the Giants rally back from a two-games-to-none deficit.

On Thursday, Bochy dropped Pence to sixth in the order, moving Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Hector Sanchez into the 3-4-5 spots. But Bochy never considered benching Pence.

"Certain players, I believe you need them in the lineup," Bochy said. "I think you need them for their presence, their energy, how much their teammates respect them and the way they play the game.

"I don't believe, except in rare occasions, that you sit a player like that unless he's absolutely lost."

  • Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran was unavailable to start because of left knee soreness and was replaced by rookie Matt Carpenter.

    "Carlos went through some tests, and everything came back pretty clear," manager Mike Matheny said. "But it's still bothering him to the point where we can't start him."

    Beltran was available as a pinch hitter in Game 4. His availability for the remainder of the series is unknown.

    "Really, it's too early to tell," Matheny said. "He's had things pop up through the season that we thought would be something that would put him on the shelf for a while, and the next thing you know he's out there the next day.

    "I know right now we obviously have some urgency, and he knows that as well as anybody. He's going to push it if he can."

  • After two rough postseason starts, Madison Bumgarner will pitch out of the bullpen for the remainder of the NLCS. Bochy said Bumgarner, the Game 1 starter, would take over the "backup" role that Lincecum held before being moved back to the starting rotation.

    Bumgarner has a 14.73 ERA this postseason. Bochy is not worried about the long-term effects of dropping the 23-year-old left-hander out of the rotation.

    "His toughness is off the charts," Bochy said. "He understands this."

  • Bochy announced that Ryan Vogelsong will start Game 6 and Matt Cain will start Game 7 if the series goes that long. The Cardinals announced that Lance Lynn will start Game 5. He gave up four earned runs in 32/3 innings in Game 1.

    Asked what he has to do differently this time around, Lynn was matter-of-fact. "Not give up four straight two"'out hits in one inning," he said.

  • The Cardinals came hard with the Hall of Famers on Thursday. Stan Musial, 91, waved to the crowd from a motorized cart that took him on a lap around the stadium. (When Musial passed the Giants dugout, Bochy ducked out to shake his hand.)

    Ozzie Smith, who won a record 13 Gold Gloves at shortstop, threw out the first pitch. Musial and Smith combined for 39 All-Star games.