The Giants made history last year when winning the World Series. If they don't improve in the standings they'll make history again for all the wrong reasons.

They could become just the second team since the World Series was created to follow a championship with a last-place finish. The only team to finish last a year after winning a World Series was the 1998 Marlins and those shameful Marlins didn't even try instead engaging in a legendary fire sale and losing 108 games after winning it all in 1997.

The Giants have 30 games to pull themselves from the cellar.

They're not far away. With Tuesday night's 5-3 victory over the Rockies the Giants pulled into a fourth-place tie with the Padres (still last place) and moved two games behind third-place Colorado in the National League West.

"I don't think the goal is 'Let's finish out of the basement' " said Hunter Pence who hit the majors' longest home run of the season on Tuesday. "My spiel right now is to play each game like a playoff game."

Minus the pregame speeches and sunflower-seed tossing which became Pence rituals last October. They've been replaced by Pence doing the salsa with Pablo Sandoval suddenly the new ritual.

"Putting the results aside my goal is to be completely determined and have completely max effort with my concentration" Pence said. "That's what I want to heighten. If you treat it that way you can walk away whether you get the results or not."

Pence has had a memorable series. One day after he ran into the outfield wall he hit a ball over it. Way over it. His first-inning home run cleared the left-field bleachers and was estimated by ESPN's tracking folks at 476 feet a foot farther than the previous estimated high belonging to the Angels' Mark Trumbo and Cubs' Anthony Rizzo.

"All of my hits combined probably weren't hit as hard as his" said Brandon Belt who went 4-for-5.