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After leadoff trial, Pence returns to No. 2 spot

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OAKLAND -- After just five games, it appears the Hunter Pence-at-leadoff-experiment is over for the Giants. Manager Bruce Bochy turned the lineup blender on again before Tuesday night's game, and the results were a return to the leadoff spot for Gregor Blanco and the two-hole for Pence.

"Hunter, he doesn't care where he hits," Bochy said. "He can hit anywhere in the lineup -- first, second, third, fourth, fifth ... he's comfortable. I think Blanco's been getting better swings off, so I'm just going to put a couple speed guys up there at the top of the order."

In five games batting leadoff, Pence hit .368 (7-for-19). Blanco has three hits in his last 25 at-bats and is batting .211 this season from the leadoff spot. He's batted .238 (21-for-88) in lineup slots two through nine.

Still, after the Giants were blanked on Monday night for the fourth time in their last eight games, Bochy deemed the time right for another lineup shakeup.

"You don't get shutout; you find a way to get runs on [the scoreboard]," Bochy said. "It's going to be a matter of us getting everybody doing something to make a contribution, and that's what happened earlier. We had some guys struggling, but at the back end of the order, they were bailing us out.

"Early, [Angel] Pagan and [Michael] Morse were hot, then [Pablo] Sandoval and Pence got hot, so [the streakiness] has hit everybody. It's going to take three of four guys getting hot with the bat now."

The Giants' offensive malaise has been most apparent with runners in scoring position. They've hit .133 (8-for-60) with in those situations in their last 11 games.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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