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Giants edge Angels on Panik's walk-off single

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Panik's two-out, pinch-hit single with the bases loaded broke a ninth-inning deadlock Friday night and lifted the Giants to a 3-2 walk-off victory over the Angels. It was San Francisco's third walk-off win of the season and the second delivered by Panik.

With the score tied, 2-2, Buster Posey led off the ninth against Angels reliever Joe Smith by beating out an infield single on a high-bouncing grounder up the middle. Justin Maxwell's sacrifice bunt advanced pinch-runner Gregor Blanco to second base, and Smith threw a ball-four wild pitch that moved Blanco to third and put Andrew Susac on first. Smith recovered by striking out pinch-hitter Brandon Belt, then he intentionally walked Brandon Crawford to set up a forceout at any base. Panik rendered the strategy moot by lining a 1-1 pitch into center field.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Panik's two-out, pinch-hit single with the bases loaded broke a ninth-inning deadlock Friday night and lifted the Giants to a 3-2 walk-off victory over the Angels. It was San Francisco's third walk-off win of the season and the second delivered by Panik.

With the score tied, 2-2, Buster Posey led off the ninth against Angels reliever Joe Smith by beating out an infield single on a high-bouncing grounder up the middle. Justin Maxwell's sacrifice bunt advanced pinch-runner Gregor Blanco to second base, and Smith threw a ball-four wild pitch that moved Blanco to third and put Andrew Susac on first. Smith recovered by striking out pinch-hitter Brandon Belt, then he intentionally walked Brandon Crawford to set up a forceout at any base. Panik rendered the strategy moot by lining a 1-1 pitch into center field.

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"I didn't execute," Smith said. "I walked too many guys, I was behind every hitter, threw a pitch that was supposed to be up in the zone right down the middle and I got beat. That's on me."

Both starting pitchers performed capably while receiving no-decision. Making his first AT&T Park appearance since pitching for Texas in Game 2 of the 2010 World Series, Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson yielded two runs (one earned) and four hits in seven innings. Giants right-hander Chris Heston took a two-hit shutout into the seventh inning and ultimately was charged with one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.

The Giants won despite an eighth-inning error by second baseman Matt Duffy that led to an unearned run, a potential double-play grounder that third baseman Casey McGehee mishandled in the seventh inning, a passed ball by Susac and a hit batter by Jeremy Affeldt on an 0-2 pitch during Los Angeles' eighth-inning rally.

"It wasn't our cleanest game, but we overcame mistakes," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Video: LAA@SF: Panik discusses his walk-off single

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Resilient rookie: Rebounding from his worst start of the season -- a six-run, 11-hit thumping during a 5 1/3-inning outing at Colorado last Friday, Heston trimmed his ERA from 2.77 to 2.51. The last Giants rookie starter to own a lower ERA through his first five starts of the season was Madison Bumgarner in 2010 (2.41).

Video: LAA@SF: Heston strikes out five over 6 1/3 innings

A regretful seventh: A controversial replay ruling and a decision not to use pinch-hitters potentially cost the Angels a chance to take the lead in the seventh. Kole Calhoun appeared safe on a forceout at second with none out, but umpires checking replay deemed their wasn't conclusive evidence to overturn the call. The Angels eventually tied the game, 1-1, on an RBI single by Matt Joyce, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia let Chris Iannetta (.089 batting average) and Wilson (32 career plate appearances) bat with runners on the corners and one out. Iannetta struck out and Wilson, who had thrown just 70 pitches, flied out.

"I could've won the game for us, and I'm frustrated about that," Wilson said. "Even though I'm just a pitcher in the American League, I feel like I'm coming up there with a competitive at-bat, and I got a good pitch to hit and just popped it up. That's what's frustrating." More >

Video: LAA@SF: Angels an out and the call stands in the 7th

Susac succeeds: Panik's hit wasn't the evening's first for the Giants. Susac delivered a two-out single in the seventh inning to score Angel Pagan and give San Francisco a temporary 2-1 lead. A passed ball by Iannetta made the run unearned. The hit lifted Susac's batting average to .286 (6-for-21) since he was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on April 18.

Video: LAA@SF: Susac plates Pagan with a go-ahead single

Mixed signals, bad matchups: On the passed ball, Iannetta expected a slider and Smith threw a fastball. It crossed up the Angels' catcher and hit plate umpire Bill Miller in the knee. Miller was shaken up but stayed in the game after being looked at by trainers. Smith got back to work with runners on the corners and one out and struck out pinch-hitter Belt, Scioscia then elected to intentionally walk the left-handed-hitting Crawford to face the right-handed-hitting Joaquin Arias, but Giants skipper Bruce Bochy countered with Panik, the walk-off hero.

"Crawford hit the ball hard a couple times today," Scioscia said, "and we felt better with someone coming off the bench."

Video: LAA@SF: Umpire Bill Miller takes a pitch off his knee

QUOTABLE
"I told you guys, everything's going to be fine. It's manageable." -- Wilson on his elbow, which had fluid drained from it a few days before he gave up just two runs (one earned) on four hits and one walk in seven innings on Friday

Video: LAA@SF: Wilson tosses seven strong innings vs. Giants

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Angels got a call overturned on a fourth-inning caught stealing against Pagan, who was initially deemed safe. With that, and the controversial replay review that wasn't overturned in the seventh, the Angels moved to 5-for-11 in challenges this season.

Video: LAA@SF: Angels challenge safe call in 4th, overturned

WHAT'S NEXT
Angels: Hector Santiago gets the start in the second of a three-game series, with game time set for 1:05 p.m. PT on Saturday. Santiago overcame six walks to give up only two runs (one earned) in 5 2/3 innings against the Rangers on Sunday. The 27-year-old has given up just seven runs (six earned) in 23 2/3 innings this year, with 17 hits, 12 walks and 22 strikeouts.

Giants: With the Giants facing a left-handed starter for the second straight day, manager Bruce Bochy faces multiple decisions regarding whether he wants to start left-handed batters at first base (Belt), second base (Panik) and shortstop (Crawford). Among those three, only Crawford started Friday's series opener. If Posey, who played first base Friday, catches Tim Hudson, Bochy still could use a righty hitter at first by starting Joaquin Arias.

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Chris Haft are reporters for MLB.com.

 

Chris Heston, Joe Panik, C.J. Wilson