With their six-game losing streak over and a horrible June behind them, the Giants open a four-game series Monday night at the scene of their first great October comeback last year, Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park.

That all started with Hunter Pence's 78-rpm pregame speech before Game 3 of the Division Series. If the Giants somehow reverse course and start winning now, Pence's two-run, opposite-field homer in Sunday's 5-2 win at Colorado might be remembered as an important pivot point, too.

The Giants seemed to go two weeks without a hit that big. Pence's 13th homer, which followed a third-inning solo shot by Buster Posey, gave the Giants a 4-0 lead and a chance to exhale.

"This is the game we've been looking forward to for a while, a win," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We've been looking for a big hit for a while to give us a little cushion, and it took some pressure off the guys."

The Giants' win ended a 10-17 June, their worst month since an 8-16 July in 2008. They also reached the midpoint of the schedule at a disappointing 39-42, their worst 81-game record in five seasons.

Yet the June swoon cost the Giants two measly games in the National League West. They were one game out entering the month, and are three back leaving it.

They know, however, they cannot win the division merely waiting for everyone else to lose. They need to play on a much higher plane.

The frightening element for fans lately has been the offense, which is understandable. Giants hitters cannot have another month like June, when they scored a league-low 90 runs.