ST. PETERSBURG -- Joe Panik's RBI single in the eighth broke a 1-1 tie to lead the Giants to a 5-1 win over the Rays Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field with 17,361 watching.
The win earned the Giants (44-26) a sweep of the three-game series with the Rays (31-36), who have now lost four consecutive games.
Gregor Blanco singled off Xavier Cedeno to start the eighth and advanced to second on Denard Span's sacrifice bunt. Panik then singled to right to drive home Blanco. Buster Posey added an RBI single off Tyler Sturdevant and Conor Gillaspie chipped in with a two-run double off Sturdevant to give the Giants a four-run cushion.
Jake Odorizzi started for the Rays and got a no-decision after holding the Giants to one run on four hits while striking out eight in six innings. Brandon Belt's solo home run in the fourth was the only blemish on his line. Meanwhile, Jake Peavy held the Rays to one run on four hits while striking out eight in six innings en route to a quality start and a no-decision.
Rays hitters went 0-for-11 on Sunday, which translated to a 4-for-49 stretch with runners in scoring position in their last five games.
"Good to be getting out of here," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "That was just kind of a series of us not getting it done whatsoever. Big hit eluded us, we had baserunners all over the place the first two innings and to come out of that with a run -- especially in the first. We have to be able to capitalize on that and we did not."
Jake Peavy overcame a lack of command and poor defense in the first three innings. The Giants had three errors during that span and also let the leadoff man get on each time. But Peavy settled down and went toe-to-toe with Odorizzi, pitching six, one-run innings.
"We were just trying to minimize damage," Peavy said. "Obviously, the game didn't start as we would have liked it...We were able to make pitches, turn it around." More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Big Belt: The Giants were trailing 1-0, and Odorizzi was rolling through the first three innings. But Brandon Belt came up big in his second at-bat, blasting a home run over the bleachers down the right field line. It was his second homer of the series, and tied the game 1-1.
A clean two: Odorizzi has struggled in the first two innings this season. Entering Sunday's game, the Rays' right-hander had allowed 33 earned runs on the season and 20 of those had scored in the first two innings of the game. Sunday he successfully navigated the first two frames unscathed, posting zeros in both.
Broken open : A pitcher's duel was quickly turned into a rout in the top of eighth inning. The Giants put together four hits and a walk to score four runs against Cedeno and Sturdevant. Gillaspie broke it open with a two-out, two-run double to make it 5-1. Panik had a big hit in the inning as well. More >
"Just getting big hits, timely hits...It's been pitching keeping us in the game and giving us a chance," Bochy said. "We're not scoring a lot of runs, but we're getting the timely hits when we need them, doing some little things right."
Big league: The Giants had no outs in the fifth and runners on second and third when Trevor Brown lofted a shallow fly ball down the right-field line. First baseman Logan Morrison took off after the ball and managed to make an over-the-shoulder catch. The Rays' first baseman quickly pivoted and threw to the plate, preventing Matt Duffy from scoring from third. Odorizzi then struck out Blanco and Span to end the threat
"I thought Jake was outstanding. Really, really well-pitched ballgame. Got into a jam, got out of the game. Very impressive outing. Gave us every single opportunity to win." --- Cash, on Odorizzi.
"Bochy is the best going in the game right now. I feel fortunate to have been raised to a certain extent by him and to watch and learn so much at an early age. And to come back full circle as older guy. ... He's calm amid the storms, but he's as fiery as any guy in here. And that's what makes him great." -- Peavy, on playing for Bochy.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Evan Longoria homered against the Giants on Saturday. The homer represented his first against the National League team. That leaves the Dodgers, Phillies, and Nationals as the only opponents he's never homered against.
Gillaspie had a two-run double in the eighth to extend the lead. He hadn't had a hit in his previous 24 at-bats before that moment.
The Rays challenged an out call in the second when Desmond Jennings appeared to dodge the tag by Belt. After a delay of 1 minute 42 seconds, the call on the field was overturned.
The Rays challenged a safe call in the fifth when Angel Pagan stole second. A review of 2 minutes and 14 seconds followed and the verdict came back: call stands.
Rays:Drew Smyly (2-7, 4.75) will make his 14th start after striking out a career-high 12 batters on Wednesday against the Mariners. The left-hander feels good about regaining the feel for his off-speed pitches. When he's got all of his four pitches working he's especially tough. Of note: He's surrendered eight home runs in his last five starts, a span covering 28 innings.
Giants:Madison Bumgarner (8-2, 1.91 ERA) is 7-0 in 10 starts dating back to April 25. The San Francisco ace will take the hill for the surging Giants against the sputtering Pirates, who had lost 4 of 18 games going into Sunday's game against the Cubs. It will be the first of four games at PNC park, starting at 4:05 p.m. PT. on Monday.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.