Panik’s walk-off gives Giants huge 4-3 win

Orovillemr.com photo: San Francisco Giants’ Joe Panik watches his two-run single in front of Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann during the ninth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The Giants won 4-3.

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — Down to his last strike on multiple occasions, Joe Panik came up huge in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Panik slapped a single to right field off of Luke Jackson that scored Kevin Pillar and Mac Williamson, as the San Francisco Giants came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Atlanta Braves 4-3 before a crowd of just 28,030 at Oracle Park.

This was the second walk-off of the season for the Giants, and the second this month, as Buster Posey hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 1.

As for Panik, this was his second career walk-off hit and first since May 1, 2015 against the Los Angeles Angels.

Jackson came on in the bottom of the ninth inning, as he looked for his team-high seventh save of the season; however, in the end it did not happen.

The closer got Evan Longoria to ground out for the first out of the inning, but Brandon Crawford singled to left, then Jackson got Steven Duggar to strike out for the second out of the inning and then Crawford advanced an additional 90 feet on defensive indifference.

Pillar then cut the Braves lead down to one, as he singled in Crawford and then Pablo Sandoval came to the plate. Pillar then stole second to get into scoring position that setup Sandoval for the possible game-tying hit.

Sandoval hit a ball into the hole at third base that Josh Donaldson dove and kept the ball from going into left field that would have tied up the game, and Pillar stayed at third base. Williamson came on to pinch run for Sandoval, and stole second that setup Paniks heroics.

Panik fell behind 0-2 and then the count went to 3-2, and finally on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Panik hit a 95 mile per hour into right field that scored both Pillar and Williamson to give the Giants an improbable victory.

The Braves got on the board in the first inning, as Dansby Swanson singled and eventually scored on a Nick Markakis double to left field.

Panik got the Giants rally started in the bottom of the first inning, as he singled off of Braves starter Julio Teheran, he went to second on a Buster Posey single and then over to third on a Brandon Belt fly ball to left field. Evan Longoria then tied up the game, as he doubled to left field to easily score Panik from third base; however, the rally ended, when Crawford struck out to end the inning.

Both Teheran and rookie Shawn Anderson matched each other inning for inning until the Braves finally got to Anderson in the top of the sixth inning and chased the rookie, who was making just his second major league start.

Donaldson and Markakis ended Andersons night, as they hit back-to-back singles in the top of the sixth inning and that brought on Reyes Moronta, who got Austin Riley to fly out to Duggar in centerfield; however, both Donaldson and Markakis advanced an additional 90 feet. Brian McCann broke up the tie, as he hit a sacrifice fly to Stephen Vogt in left field.

Freddie Freeman extended the Braves up to two runs in the top of the seventh inning, as he hit an opposite field single that scored Ronald Acuna, Jr., who walked with one out in the inning and went to second on a Swanson walk.

Acuna made a huge defensive play in the bottom of the third inning, as he robbed Brandon Belt of a solo home run.

If people that thought Acunas plat was huge, Crawford also came up with two huge defensive plays of his own.

The shortstop snared a Freeman line drive in the top of the third inning that looked like it was going into left field, but Crawford caught the ball to rob Freeman of a base hit.

Crawford came up huge on the defense again in the top of the ninth inning, as Acuna attempted to steal second base and was originally called safe; however, replays showed that Crawford applied the tag on the foot and the umpires went to replay and after a 44-second review, it was determined that Acuna was indeed out.

Paniks two-run walk-off base hit gave the win to Trevor Gott, who is 2-0 on the season, while Jackson falls to 2-1.

Anderson, who was making his second start of his career, went five innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, not walking a batter and striking out three, as he did not fare in the decision.

The veteran Teheran went 5.2 innings, allowing just one run on three hits, walking three and striking out six.

Once again, the Giants helped out, as they went the final four innings, allowing one run on three hits, walking three and striking out two.

NOTES: Vogt started in left for just the second time in his major-league career, and it was his fifth appearance in left field and 17 in right field. Vogt last played in the outfield in 2017.

Sandoval picked up his 10th pinch-hit of the season, and is now 10-for-25 as a pinch-hitter this season.
In 16 career games against the Giants, Donaldson is 21-for-60, a .350 clip with seven extra base hits.

Acuna, who hit two home runs in the series opener on Monday night, has reached base in seven of his 10 plate appearances in the series, as he has walked twice and picked up five hits.

UP NEXT: Jeff Samardzija looks for his third win of the season, as he takes the mound on Wednesday night for the Giants, while left-hander Max Fried looks to raise his record to 7-2 on the season, as he toes the rubber for the Braves.

Playing Spoiler: Giants, Stratton make life difficult for the Diamondbacks in 2-0 shutout

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO — Chris Stratton’s storyline ran hot in April, May and the first half of June, and just that quickly, times changed.

Dereck Rodriguez and Andrew Suarez raised their profiles and became the story, Stratton didn’t pitch as well, and with the 28-year old showing wear and tear, the Giants pushed the reset button.

Stratton was demoted on August 3rd and of course, in San Francisco and other major league outposts, we didn’t hear much else. But Stratton’s story and his breakout season wasn’t quite finished.

The Diamondbacks got introduced to Stratton a year ago. On Monday, the NL West leaders and the crowd at AT&T Park were reintroduced to the Giants’ first round pick in the 2012 draft with his eye-catching display.

In his best start of the season, Stratton shut down the D-Backs, going in eight innings in a 2-0 Giants’ win. It marked Stratton’s ninth win of the year, and the lengthiest outing of his big league career.

“He was really good,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Stratton. “Really good with his command and all his pitches: curveball, slider, change, really spotted his fastball well, and we needed it, their guy threw well.”

Of all the statements made about Stratton Monday, the fact that his performance rivaled Arizona starter Patrick Corbin’s outing spoke volumes. Corbin was dominant, shutting down the Giants without a peep outside of the 3-1 pitch thrown to Steven Duggar in the second inning that exited the park in a hurry.

“It might have been off the plate, but a really good swing there to put some runs on,” Corbin said. “It was still early in the game there (and) it felt like just put up some zeros and just tonight their guy pitched a little better than me.”

Outside of that pitch, Corbin allowed three other hits, struck out nine and walked one in seven innings. And whike it felt as if Arizona would support Corbin’s brilliance, it never happened. The D-Backs went quietly, managing just a pair of ninth inning walks after John Jay tripled with two outs in the fifth.

The Giants and D-Backs continue their series Wednesday night at 7:15 pm PDT.

They may be down, but they’re never out! A’s beat the Giants 4-3

Celebration
A’s celebrate after beating the Giants Photo: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

SAN FRANCISCO — The Oakland Athletics (54-42) really do not know when to quit. In the major leagues, teams that are trailing as they head into the late innings (the seventh inning and beyond) are pretty much doomed to failure the majority of the time. The goal for every big league team is to score early and often because later is usually too late.

The 2018 A’s are breaking all of those rules. The A’s are tied for second in runs scored in the seventh inning or later (173). They did it again on Saturday night against the San Francisco Giants (50-47).

The A’s were trailing the Giants 3-2 as they came to bat in the top of the seventh inning. Tony Watson was the new pitcher for San Francisco. Josh Phegley led off the inning with a single to right. The pitcher’s spot was due up (National League park), so manager Bob Melvin put in Mark Canha as a pinch hitter. Canha hit a 3-2 pitch halfway up into the bleachers in left field for his 12th home run of the season and his 38th and 39th RBIs of the year.

The A’s took a 4-3 lead and never looked back. Lou Trivino worked 2.0 innings of scoreless relief for his team. All-star Blake Treinen then came on in the bottom of the ninth. Treinen struggled a bit as he walked two Giants, but he worked his way out of trouble to earn his 24th save of the season.

The win went to Yusmeiro Petit (4-2) who was pitcher of record in the top of the seventh inning. The loss goes to Tony Watson who also receives a blown save for his record.

Neither starter had a great night. Brett Anderson worked just 3.1 innings for Oakland giving up three runs (all earned) on eight hits. Jeff Samardzija made the start for the Giants and he lasted just 4.0 innings. He allowed two runs (both earned) off three hits. He walked two and struck out one batter.

Steven Duggar had another good game for the Giants, going 2-for-4 at the plate while scoring two runs and adding an RBI. Buster Posey had a 2-for-4 night hitting as well.

Samardzija Swan Song?

To say that the Giants have been disappointed with the performance of Jeff Samardzija this season — may be one of the great understatements of 2018. His performance on Saturday did nothing to help his standing with the team. His 10th start lasted just 4.0 innings and saw “the Shark” give up two runs (both earned) on three hits. He walked two and struck out just one Oakland batter. The real concern was his velocity or lack of it. Samardzija had trouble breaking into the 90’s with his pitches. The Giants would love to open his spot for a younger pitcher, but they have to figure out what to do with the 33-year old veteran who will make $18-million per season through 2020.

A little bullpen irony 

In the seventh inning, the Giants’ lifted reliever Tony Watson and gave the ball to Ray Black with one out and two runners on base. The A’s had Lou Trivino warming up in their bullpen and would ultimately pitch the seventh inning for Oakland. The irony is that Trivino credits Black for his success as a pitcher. The A’s RHP said he was watching Black pitch at Class-A San Jose when he was with the Stockton Ports and he liked the way Black pitched. Trivino incorporated some of Black’s technique into his own style and now both are facing off in the major leagues.

So long Santiago and other transactions

Relief pitcher Santiago Casilla was designated for assignment (DFA) by the A’s. Casilla appeared in 26 games pitching 31.1 innings while posting a 3.16 ERA. He struck out 22 and walked 20 which lead to a WHIP of 1.213. Casilla had a poor outing on Friday night in San Francisco. If no team claims Casilla off waivers, he will have to decide if he will accept an assignment to the minors.

Ryan Dull received an airline ticket back to Nashville. Dull had a rough outing for the A’s on Friday night and has struggled to find any consistency on the mound this season. He had worked 18 innings for Oakland giving up 21 hits (3 HRs) while striking out 17 and walking five. Dull was carrying an ERA of 6.00, which will not keep you in the Major Leagues.

Franklin Barreto continues to rack up the frequent flier miles as he has returned from Nashville. His return is related to the leg contusion suffered by Jed Lowrie on Friday night. Lowrie did not play on Saturday and do not expect to see him on Sunday. Lowrie’s status for the All-Star game has not been addressed.

Good news for the starting pitching rotation

Daniel Mengden has been brought off the disabled list by the A’s. Mengden was put on the 10-day DL due to a foot sprain. The RHP is 6-6 this season in 16 starts with a 4.47 ERA in 90.2 innings pitched. He has struck out 55 and walked just 19 batters. Mengden could well see action in the Bay Bridge Series Part 2 in Oakland next weekend.