Starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong #32 of the San Francisco Giants delivers against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Photo: Doug Pensinger, Getty Images / SF
By: Henry Schulman
Denver -- The Giants needed to create their own energy, man up and be tougher, forget their personal stats and compete. They also needed to have fun and remember they are a first-place team.
That seemed to be manager Bruce Bochy's message to his players in a 20-minute meeting before batting practice Friday. Seven losses in eight games to finish a 3-7 homestand made it necessary.
Ryan Vogelsong saw his streak of allowing three or fewer runs end. Photo: Joe Mahoney, Associated Press / SF
Whether Bochy motivated them to set a season high in runs, or they merely took advantage of a last-place team, is immaterial. The Giants needed to win and they did, a 16-4 laugher against the Rockies that began with two runs in three innings against Jonathan Sanchez and was close until the Giants scored 13 runs over the final three innings.
Did the Giants need a night like this?
Ryan Theriot and Hunter Pence congratulate Buster Posey after his three-run homer in the Giants' six-run eighth inning. Photo: Joe Mahoney, Associated Press / SF
"Oh my God, big-time," center fielder Angel Pagan said.
Bochy would not call a meeting to single out one player, but he has been frustrated with Pagan, just as Pagan has been frustrated with himself. Pagan's response between the lines Friday heartened the manager.
Pagan doubled off a typically wild Sanchez to start the game. He also walked twice, tripled, hit an infield single and scored four times.
"We need him," said Buster Posey, who hit a three-run homer off the top of the center-field fence in a six-run eighth inning. "He's going to be huge for us. With his speed, he can do a lot when he gets on base. It's nice to see him swing the bat."
Pagan said a few adjustments in the cage helped, but he also credited the meeting.
"We needed somebody to pick us up like that," he said. "You could feel the energy level was down, to be honest."
Though Pagan said the meeting's tone was "very encouraging," Bochy hinted of some tough love, too.
"This game can humble you," he said shortly after the talk. "You've got to deal with it, man up and be tougher.
"I think we need to compete a little better at the plate. It's all about being tougher mentally. In this game, sometimes you get caught up in your personal stats, but it's about competing. It's what you want to do here. When you're not getting results and you're frustrated, you compound the problem by taking it into the next at-bat. We've got to do a better job of washing it off."
There were few bad at-bats to wash off as the Giants matched their run output from the final seven games of the homestand.
Nine Giants scored, including winning pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, whose leadoff double in the seventh started the late 13-run onslaught.
Brett Pill hit a solo homer, Melky Cabrera had a two-run double, and Ryan Theriot had two RBI singles. Hunter Pence drove in a run with a grounder but ran his Giants hitless streak to 0-for-10 before an eighth-inning single.
Sanchez's struggles with the Royals and Rockies are well-known. He entered with a combined 8.32 ERA, but he allowed only two of the 16 runs, and one was unearned. He was removed after three innings and 67 pitches under Colorado's four-man rotation scheme.
Vogelsong's string of starts in which he allowed three or fewer runs ended at 16. He carried a shutout into the seventh, giving his struggling offense a chance to breathe.
"I didn't want us to feel like we were playing catch-up," Vogelsong said. "I wanted to start strong and keep them off the board as long as I could to let our guys go out and have good at-bats."
Henry Schulman is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @hankschulman
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