Panik's big hit caps Giants' 9-6 comeback win over Dodgers
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) With a lineup full of capable hitters, the San Francisco Giants have shown this first week that an early deficit is far from an insurmountable obstacle. Even a five-run hole before they come to bat.
Joe Panik hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the sixth inning and the Giants homered three times to overcome Johnny Cueto's rough start and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-6 on Sunday.
''With our offense, there's no sense of panic,'' Panik said. ''We kept grinding out at-bats early on (Scott) Kazmir and scratched a few across here and there.''
''There's some good mojo in this clubhouse,'' he said.
Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan all homered as the Giants rallied after falling behind 5-0 after the top of the first. San Francisco has 14 homers in the opening week of the season and the Giants have hit at least one homer in the first seven games for the first time since at least 1913.
The Giants had two big comebacks in the series, overcoming a 4-0 deficit in the opener, and they have trailed in all five wins this season.
''Throughout the lineup, we have guys who can drive the ball,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ''We're not going to rely on the long ball, but it certainly helps.''
Cueto (2-0) settled down after the first and earned the win in his home debut for the Giants, allowing six runs and 10 hits in seven innings. Santiago Casilla got three outs for his second save as San Francisco took three of four from its fiercest rival.
Scott Kazmir couldn't hold the five-run lead in his second start for the Dodgers, getting chased after allowing six runs in four innings.
''I just didn't get it done,'' Kazmir said. ''There were pitches where if I would have made, it would have been a different situation. But it was those pitches that were right in their wheelhouse, something that they could really handle, and they made me pay.''
The Giants then won it against Los Angeles' bullpen in the sixth. Louis Coleman (0-1) left after allowing a leadoff double to Pagan. Denard Span followed with an infield hit off J.P. Howell and Panik gave San Francisco its first lead with his double. Hunter Pence added a sacrifice fly to make it 9-6.
Cueto's home debut got off to a rough start when he hit Chase Utley with his second pitch of the game. It only got worse for him after that as the Dodgers batted 1.000 on their first trip through the lineup, getting five singles, the hit by pitch, a walk, a sacrifice fly and a sacrifice bunt to take a 5-0 lead.
The Giants took just three innings to erase that deficit, getting RBI singles by Belt and Matt Duffy in the first and a solo homer by Posey and two-run shot from Belt in the third.
''If you look at their at-bats throughout the game it was a hitting clinic,'' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ''You see guys getting over, getting them in and just spoiling pitches.''
The teams traded runs in the fourth, but Cueto didn't allow anything else. He retired pinch-hitter Micah Johnson on a fly out to end the seventh with two men on and pumped his fist as he walked off to a standing ovation.
Dodgers: OF Scott Van Slyke is day to day after leaving Saturday's game with lower back tightness. ... C Yasmani Grandal (right forearm) and 2B Howie Kendrick (left calf) are expected to come off the DL on Tuesday.
Giants: San Francisco and the Chicago White Sox are the only teams that haven't used the disabled list this season.
Cueto became the first Giants pitcher since Ryan Jensen on June 27, 2002, against San Diego to get the win after allowing five runs in the first.
''My teammates told me to keep the game at 5-0 and they'd take care of the rest,'' Cueto said. ''That's exactly what I did.''
Dodgers: Los Angeles takes on Arizona in its home opener Tuesday. RHP Kenta Maeda (1-0, 0.00) looks to build off his major league debut when he tossed six scoreless innings in a win at San Diego.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-0, 5.06) looks to bounce back from a rough debut for San Francisco when the Giants open a three-game series at Colorado on Tuesday.