SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy's reshuffled lineup didn't exactly deal a full house. New leadoff man Marco Scutaro went 0 for 5, Brandon Crawford was 0 for 4 hitting No. 2, and the Giants were 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
One change Bochy made, however -- moving Hunter Pence to the No. 3 spot -- paid some intriguing dividends Monday night. The move turned Pence into a patient hitter, and it also wound up being the key that finally unlocked a 4-2 Giants victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at AT&T Park.
Pence walked three times in the game, including leading off the eighth, and ultimately scored on Jeff Francoeur's one-out, pinch-hit single with the bases loaded that broke a 1-1 tie. The Giants added two more runs when Brewers third baseman Jeff Bianchi misplayed Joaquin Arias' grounder for an error.
But it all started with Pence, who also capitalized on his walks with two stolen bases. The right fielder rarely sees a pitch he doesn't like. He had walked only 26 times all season, had just one previous two-walk game in 2013 and walked only three times the entire month of July.
So what was up with Patient Pence on this night?
"I don't have a good answer for that," Bochy said. "But it just looked like he saw the ball well tonight and laid off some pitches."
Bochy had told Pence he probably would bat leadoff Monday if Scutaro needed a day of rest. But Scutaro said he felt fine to play, and Pence settled into another new spot at No. 3. Even though he looked to be more patient, he said he didn't really change his aggressive mind-set.
"That's just what happened," Pence said. "I'm just trying to have good at-bats. If I get a pitch to hit, swing at it. I happened to foul some pitches off, and take some balls."
Pence walked on a 3-2 pitch against Brewers reliever John Axford to start the eighth. After Buster Posey hit a deep fly out to center, Pence stole second, and on an intentional walk pitch to Pablo Sandoval, Axford threw high and wild over catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Pence advanced to third.
Brandon Belt drew a walk against left-hander Michael Gonzalez, and when Francoeur came up as a pinch-hitter, Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke countered with right-hander Rob Wooten, but Francoeur looped a 2-0 pitch over shortstop to bring home Pence.
Up to that point, the Giants had been 0 for 11 with men in scoring position.
"We needed something to happen there for us, because we've done a good job recently getting men on base and creating those chances," said Bochy. "But we've been missing those chances, and (Francoeur) came through for us."
Francoeur wasn't the only guy who came through. Pitching-wise, the big hero turned out to be left-handed reliever Javier Lopez, who threw all of four pitches. Coming into a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the seventh, Lopez got pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks to hit into an inning-ending double play after the Brewers had tied the score earlier in the inning.
Lopez's clutch DP preserved a beautifully thrown game by starter Chad Gaudin, at least for the first six innings. Gaudin allowed just two hits and two walks and struck out eight before the seventh, but he began to tire and gave up a tying RBI ground-rule double to Juan Francisco. When he departed with the bases loaded, it looked like his night would be ruined. But Lopez bailed him out.
"He made a clutch pitch right there," Gaudin said. "It was just perfect. I told him, 'Great job.' "
Vogelsong has made four rehab starts in the minor leagues, allowing three runs over 152/3 innings. He pitched six innings for Double-A Richmond on Sunday and allowed just five hits and one run, a solo homer.
"It's great. ... It's been a long road for him with that finger," Bochy said. "But he threw well (Sunday) and came out of it great. He feels really good right now, so instead of taking one more start, we think he's ready."
Milwaukee (Wily Peralta 7-11) at Giants (Matt Cain 7-6), 7:15 p.m., CSNBA