Panik caps eventful 9th with walk-off vs. Dodgers
SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Panik's bases-loaded sacrifice fly snapped a ninth-inning tie Wednesday night and lifted the San Francisco Giants to their second straight victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, a 3-2 decision.
With the score knotted, Buster Posey began San Francisco's winning rally with a one-out single off Chris Hatcher, who grazed Justin Maxwell with his next pitch. With the left-handed-batting Brandon Belt due up, lefty J.P. Howell relieved Hatcher. Belt's single to left loaded the bases for Panik, whom the Dodgers tried to counter by employing a five-man infield. Panik rendered the strategy moot with his first-pitch drive to medium-deep right-center field, scoring pinch-runner Gregor Blanco.
"I thought it would be a tight ballgame," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
The anticipated pitching matchup between left-handed aces Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Madison Bumgarner of the Giants ended in a virtual standoff, as the score was tied, 2-2, by the time both left the game. Kershaw surrendered three hits in six innings and lapsed only in the third inning, when the Giants scored twice. Bumgarner protected that lead until the seventh, when Alex Guerrero clobbered a pinch-hit, two-run homer.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Non-call in ninth: Panik's game-winning sacrifice fly was preceded by a controversial no-call in the ninth inning. After Belt singled, Blanco rounded third as the potential game-winning run before he was bumped by Giants coach Roberto Kelly. Mattingly tried to argue that interference should have been called, but third-base umpire Fieldin Culbreth did not change the ruling. The next batter, Panik, lofted his decisive fly ball. "I really don't know what the umpires' responsibilities are there," Mattingly said. "But I do know that there's no way in baseball they allow the third-base coach to come up and basically block the runner from going forward. That's what happened tonight. That's obviously a missed call." More >
Bumgarner's bunt: Getting a bunt down against Kershaw isn't easy, given the hop on his fastball and the break of his curveball. But Bumgarner sacrificed successfully in the third inning, putting the Giants in position to score twice.
"Our guys capitalized," Panik said. "We didn't miss our chances. Especially against somebody like Kershaw, you have to take advantage of those."
Guerrero goes yard: In the span of one at-bat, Guerrero essentially wiped out the anticipated pitchers' duel. Pinch-hitting for Kershaw with a runner on first, Guerrero's two-run blast chased Bumgarner. It marked the second pinch-hit homer this season for Guerrero, who has three dingers and 11 RBIs in 16 at-bats to begin the year but hasn't started a game since April 13.
"Alex is still part of everything we're doing," Mattingly said.
Dodgers: Mike Bolsinger is set to make his first start with Los Angeles on Thursday after posting 17 strikeouts in 11 scoreless innings with Triple-A Oklahoma City to begin the year. In 10 outings (nine starts) with Arizona as a rookie in 2014, Bolsinger went 1-6 with a 5.50 ERA. More >
Giants: Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, replacing the injured Jake Peavy on Thursday as San Francisco's starter, will try to even his career AT&T Park record at 21-21. He also has a 3.39 ERA in 73 games, including 60 starts, at the bayside ballpark. More >
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