SAN DIEGO -- After Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco saved Matt Cain's perfect game a year ago, Cain offered a variety of gifts.

"He asked me what I want -- a watch, car, house." Blanco said, laughing.

Blanco settled for being part of history. Hunter Pence said he will do the same.

Pence saved Tim Lincecum's no-hitter Saturday night against the San Diego Padres with a diving catch of Alexi Amarista's liner to right with two outs in the eighth. For Pence, the moment had extra significance. He is Lincecum's neighbor in the AT&T Park clubhouse, and Lincecum was one of the first Giants to greet Pence when the right-fielder was dealt to the team last summer.

Pence, who gave inspirational team-first speeches last October, said he was just thrilled he was able to be part of this moment.

"He doesn't have to buy me anything," Pence said, smiling. "I'm grateful I was able to be out there. It's an honor. I've never been on the defensive side of one of these."

The pitch was a slider and was Lincecum's 131st of the night. When Amarista hit it, Lincecum thought his bid was done.

"I thought it was a hit," Lincecum said. "But Hunter comes flying out of nowhere and makes a Superman catch."

Pence, nicknamed Full Throttle by teammates, got a good jump and snagged the ball a split-second before it hit the ground.


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"You've got to push all your chips in at that point," Pence said. "Any ball I can remotely get close to, I've got to lay out."

Before he could even roll to his feet, Pence held up his glove, showing that he had caught the ball. Amarista fired his helmet into the dirt as Giants all around the field pumped their fists and screamed. Lincecum held up his fist, staring at Pence as he walked off the mound. He knew that Pence had kept him on the mound.

"He was coming out of the game at that point," manager Bruce Bochy said when asked what would have happened had the ball dropped.

Lincecum made sure the catch didn't go to waste.

For two players who will soon be free agents, no gift is needed. But Lincecum might not be in the clear. As Pence insisted he didn't need a car, first baseman Brandon Belt piped up from his spot two lockers down.

"He better buy me one of those," he said.