San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has been voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for September. Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and sponsor for 23 of 30 MLB clubs, is also the presenting sponsor of the American League Player of the Month Award.
In 27 September contests, Pence led the Majors with 32 RBI and a .667 slugging percentage while tying for first in home runs with 11. His 23 runs scored ranked second among National Leaguers and he hit .293 (29-for-99) for the month while posting a .393 on-base percentage and drawing 16 free passes.
Pence capped his stellar September with a walk-off single that scored infielder Tony Abreu in the bottom of the ninth to give the Giants a 7-6 victory over the visiting San Diego Padres in the final game of the 2013 campaign. Earlier in the day, Pence extended his N.L.-leading streak of 171 consecutive games started as he became the first Giant to start every game in a season since Alvin Dark, who started all 154 games of the 1954 season for the World Series Champion Giants. On Saturday, Pence hit his club-leading 27th home run of the season in a 9-3 loss to the Padres, giving him the highest single-season home run total by a Giant since Barry Bonds' 28 home runs in 2007. Pence, who was awarded the club's annual "Willie Mac" Award on Friday night as the team's most inspirational player, finished the season with a September push that left him just one RBI short of his second consecutive 100-RBI season. On September 10th, Pence tied a career best with six RBI while going 4-for-5 in a losing effort against the Colorado Rockies. The six RBI were the most by a Giant at AT&T Park since Jose Guillen's six-RBI day on September 19, 2010 vs. Milwaukee. Pence also clubbed his 20th home run of the season in the outing, giving him the first 20-homer, 20-stolen base campaign by a Giant since Bonds' 20-20 season in 1998. His performance helped him earn his third career Player of the Week citation for week of September 9th-15th, during which he led the Majors with six homers, 19 RBI, a 1.103 slugging percentage and 32 total bases in a seven-game span. Pence notched career highs in games played, home runs and stolen bases (22) this year. This is his first career Player of the Month honor.
Other players receiving votes included Matt Carpenter (.362, 26 R, 38 H, 12 2B, 12 RBI, .543 SLG, .455 OBP) and Matt Holliday (.378, 18 R, 31 H, 4 HR, 23 RBI, .598 SLG, .485 OBP) of the St. Louis Cardinals; Atlanta's Freddie Freeman (.379, 17 R, 33 H, 6 HR, 20 RBI, .632 SLG, .451 OBP); Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt (.317, 15 R, 33 H, 8 2B, 5 HR, 20 RBI, .577 SLG, .393 OBP); and Cincinnati's Shin-Soo Choo (.316, 17 R, 25 H, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 4 SB, .544 SLG, .486 OBP).
The Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for September 2013, Hunter Pence, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, in recognition of his accomplishment.