SAN DIEGO – Hunter Pence has the longest consecutive games played streak in the major leagues. He won’t take the All-Star Game off, either.
The Giants’ inspirational right fielder will join left-hander Madison Bumgarner as the club’s representatives on the NL All-Star team. It’s Pence’s third selection and his first since 2011 with the Houston Astros.
Bumgarner made the club last season and this is his second career selection.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy lobbied for Tim Hudson and Michael Morse, and there’s still a chance one or both could make the roster. Hudson has a better chance because Bumgarner is pitching on the Sunday before the break, so NL manager Mike Matheny can replace him on the active roster with another pitcher.
The Giants might have had more than two selections if they hadn’t given back the entirety of a 9 ½-game lead they held in the NL West as recently as June 8.
Buster Posey, the top vote-getter last year, was not named to his third consecutive team.
Pence, 31, entered Sunday batting .296/.356/.466 with 11 home runs, 31 RBI and his 61 runs scored ranked third in the NL. His 103 hits ranked fifth.
Pence’s streak of 310 consecutive games played now ranks as the longest in the majors, after Kansas City’s Billy Butler did not play Sunday. Pence has started 260 consecutive games and has played all but five of the Giants’ defensive innings in right field this season.
Bumgarner, who turns 25 in August, is 9-6 with a 3.09 ERA and is on pace to top 200 innings for the fourth consecutive season. He ranked fifth in the NL last season with a 2.77 ERA and his .203 opponent’s average was third, behind Clayton Kershaw and Jose Fernandez.
He made the team despite allowing 10 runs (nine earned) in 11 innings over his past two starts, which dented an ERA that stood at 2.63 prior to that.
Bumgarner didn’t appear as a first-time All-Star last season because Bochy, who was the NL’s manager, was saving him as his long reliever. He’ll be a spectator this time, too.
Bumgarner and Pence receive $25,000 bonuses for making the team.