Pence lands on DL with hamstring strain

Right fielder, Giants awaiting results of Thursday MRI

Pence lands on DL with hamstring strain

ATLANTA -- Giants right fielder Hunter Pence approached the end of his first full day on the disabled list -- Thursday -- without knowing the extent to which his troublesome right hamstring is injured.

Pence was aware, however, that another round of diligent physical therapy awaits him after he was placed on the 15-day DL on Thursday morning.

After the Giants' 6-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves, Pence and manager Bruce Bochy explained that they lacked enough information to comment on specifics. Team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akuzuki had not yet issued his judgment regarding the results of the MRI that Pence underwent early Thursday.

Bochy's implication that Pence might be seriously injured elicited little from Pence himself.

"Unfortunately, he did a pretty good job on it, and that's a shame," Bochy said.

Pence repeated that he couldn't say much until the test results are examined and interpreted. Pence did vow, in his typical passionate fashion, "Whatever it is, I'm going to do whatever it takes to get back as fast as I can."

Outfielder Mac Williamson was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento for the third time this season to replace Pence on the roster. Williamson was hitting .287 (41-for-143) with 13 doubles, six home runs and 29 RBIs in 36 games for the River Cats.

Pence injured running to first

The loss of Pence could slow the momentum of the National League West-leading Giants, who ascended through the standings with a 21-8 May. Pence was among the few productive hitters among the Giants, who have been carried by pitching, not offense. He leads the team with 36 RBIs and ranks second among San Francisco's regulars in hitting (.298) and home runs (seven).

Pence hurt himself Wednesday night as he tried to beat out a ground ball in the fourth inning of the Giants' 5-4, 11-inning loss to Atlanta. He stopped running when he was about halfway to first base, a clear indication that something was wrong. Pence left the game immediately and was replaced by Jarrett Parker, a left-handed batter who could platoon with the right-handed-hitting Williamson in Pence's absence.

Pence returned to full-time duty last Friday after being held out of the lineup for six consecutive games. He had played without incident since then. In fact, Pence said he almost skipped undergoing his usual pregame treatment for his hamstring Wednesday because it felt so healthy.

"I went and got treatment, but I didn't think I needed it, because it was feeling strong," Pence said after Wednesday's game. "I guess my confidence led me to think I could push everything I had. It didn't work out that time."

Pence joins left fielder Angel Pagan, another integral member of San Francisco's lineup who's trying to recover from a strained left hamstring, on the DL. Pagan is eligible to be activated from the DL next Wednesday, and he could be ready to play by then.

"[Pagan is] coming around," Bochy said. "He's making progress."

Zinkie on Pence replacements

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Pence has been a major contributor to fantasy teams this season, hitting .298 with seven homers and 36 RBIs across 181 at-bats. But fantasy owners in all formats may be able to find an adequate short-term replacement looking no further than the Giants' outfield. San Francisco leadoff hitter Denard Span could be available in shallow leagues, while owners in deep mixed leagues can add Gregor Blanco. Both players are capable of providing respectable batting marks and a few steals during June. Meanwhile, those in NL-only formats can replace Pence with Parker, who has shown plus power in his limited Major League opportunities.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.