DENVER -- Brandon Belt took one step off first base, put his head down and started jogging, knowing there was no doubt about the landing spot for Hunter Pence's latest blast.
The rest of the Giants followed suit Tuesday night, cruising to a 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Pence set the tone early, crushing a Chad Bettis fastball over an entire section of seats in left field and onto a concourse at the back of the stadium. The homer traveled 476 feet, according to ESPN Stats & Info, and was the longest in the majors this season.
"I don't trust that," said Belt, who had four singles. "That was 500 feet. I'm marking it down -- 500. All of my hits combined probably were hit as far as his."
Said manager Bruce Bochy: "That was one of the furthest I've ever seen. It's one of those you just enjoy watching, and you appreciate his talent."
The least impressed person in the visiting clubhouse at Coors Field was the man who hit the homer. Asked what he could say about the homer, Pence smiled.
"Nothing," he said.
Asked again, Pence started talking about Yusmeiro Petit, who pitched six solid innings to earn his first big league win since he led the Arizona Diamondbacks to an 11-0 victory over the Giants exactly four years prior. "He's extremely humble," Pence said. "I'm pretty over-ecstatic to hear that news. He definitely deserves it."
Pence changed gears again, pointing out that Belt had another strong night. The first baseman tied a career-high with four hits and is batting .367 in August.
"It was awesome to see Brandon get four hits in front of me," he said. "You get a lot of opportunities to drive someone in."
Pence sounded very much like the player who wanted one more day with his teammates last fall, then another and another until the Giants were parading down Market Street. This season will end with a slow walk out of the AT&T Park clubhouse on Sept. 29, and when Pence, a pending free agent, leaves, there is no guarantee that he will return. But that didn't stop him from soaking up every bit of Tuesday's win, one of the cleanest the Giants have had in months.
They pitched well, starting with Petit, who gave up two runs over six innings in his first start of the season. They got big hits, with Pablo Sandoval following Pence's blast with a solo homer. It was the first time all season the Giants hit back-to-back homers. They defended well, too, particularly in the seventh inning when center fielder Gregor Blanco's running catch and second baseman Marco Scutaro's sliding stop halted a Rockies rally.
"It's been disappointing what's happened this season, but that doesn't mean we can't turn it around and play the baseball we're capable of," Pence said. "I love the energy we've had the last few weeks."
Pence's manager felt the same way.
"We played well tonight," Bochy said. "We did a nice job on defense and with our pitching. Those things go hand in hand. You get a guy out there throwing strikes, and the defense is crisper. It was a well played game."
The Giants haven't had many of those this season and haven't had many hitters in recent years as powerful as Pence, who took over the team lead with his 16th homer. The club has made it well known that Pence will be an offseason priority, and he showed Tuesday that he hasn't slowed down after the age of 30. The homer was his third this season that traveled at least 459 feet, but Pence didn't want to talk about it. He looked around the clubhouse, where several players sat on a couch laughing and others danced to the victory music.
"It's a lot of fun going hard," he said. "We have to black out the standings and play every game like it's a playoff game."
Torres was placed on the disabled list last week with a left Achilles strain, and Bochy said the tendon is fine. But the foot surgery might be an insurmountable hurdle for a player who has had a rough year and has always relied primarily on his speed.
"I know that's what Andres has been thinking about," Bochy said. "When he comes back, you see how he's running. It's such a big part of his game."
Torres hit just .250 in his return to the Giants and proved to be a surprising liability on defense.
"It's fair to say that it wasn't the type of year he was hoping for and we were hoping for," Bochy said.
Giants (Madison Bumgarner 11-8) at Colorado (Jhoulys Chacin 12-7), 5:40 p.m. CSNBA