2 games, 2 Panik HRs, 2 1-0 wins for Giants

March 31st, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- Joe Panik won't hit 162 home runs that account for the scoring in each game. He doesn't have to. His accomplishments in two such games are rare enough.
For the second game in a row, Panik was the only player on either team to touch home plate without kicking it in frustration. His ninth-inning home run Friday off Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers' formidable closer, gave the Giants a 1-0 victory that was nothing short of precedent-setting.
According to STATS, Panik, who went deep off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in Tuesday's season opener, is the first Major Leaguer to hit back-to-back solo homers at any juncture of the season to win 1-0 games for his team. The Giants are also the first team since the 1943 Reds to open a season with consecutive 1-0 victories.

"It's a good feeling to be in the situation to make those hits happen," said Panik, who made sure to add, "It all stems from pitching. I said it yesterday -- without [them], I wouldn't be standing here."
This game cornered the early-season market on drama. Giants starter Johnny Cueto retired the first 18 batters he faced before Chris Taylor punched a soft single to right field. That would be the Dodgers' lone hit for the entire game.
• Cueto flirts with perfection in first start

The Giants mustered only two hits as pitching continued to dominate this season-opening series. San Francisco is batting .154 (10-for-65); Los Angeles is batting .121 (7-for-58). Only Panik has provided meaningful offense with his power.
"That's not his game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "But the guys he's hit 'em off, that's pretty remarkable. Couldn't have come at a better time."
Teaming with relievers Tony Watson and Hunter Strickland, who recorded his second consecutive save, Cueto helped San Francisco doom the Dodgers to their second shutout defeat in the season's first two games for the first time in 50 years and second time in history.
Dodgers starter Alex Wood lost his perfect game on the first of three Logan Forsythe errors in the top of the fourth inning. Wood lost the no-hitter on an infield single by Brandon Crawford to fellow shortstop Corey Seager with two out in the top of the fifth inning. Wood struck out five and made 90 pitches.

Can't cash in: The Giants had their best early chance after Forsythe's fourth-inning error. Panik bunted Austin Jackson to second base, but Andrew McCutchen struck out and Buster Posey grounded to shortstop.
Still got it: Left fielder Matt Kemp, whose defense has been the Dodgers' biggest area of concern, made a long run to flag down Jackson's towering fly on the warning track in the corner to end the top of the eighth inning.

Jansen's pickoff of McCutchen at first base in the ninth inning, which required a Dodgers challenge and video review to overturn the original safe call, was the first one of Jansen's career.

The Giants achieved what for them was nearly impossible -- creating a baserunner against Wood -- with the help of replay. With one out in the fifth inning, Hunter Pence tapped a grounder to Dodgers third baseman Forsythe, who briefly lost control of the ball. As usual, Pence hustled to first base. He initially was called out, but replays demonstrated otherwise, and the call was overturned.

Left-hander Derek Holland will make his first National League appearance Saturday when he starts for the Giants in a 6:10 p.m. PT contest at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles will counter with righty Kenta Maeda in its effort to secure its first victory of the season.
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