Friday, April 8, 2016

Giants halt Dodgers' streak, pull away for win

The San Francisco Giants insisted they knew nothing about the Los Angeles Dodgers' season-opening streak of shutout innings. Ignorance proved to be blissful for the Giants.
Joe Panik and Buster Posey each recorded run-scoring hits in San Francisco's three-run fifth inning and a four-run sixth Thursday, as the Giants won their home opener by outlasting the Los Angeles Dodgers, 12-6.
Los Angeles didn't allow a run in its season-opening, three-game series sweep at San Diego. But the Giants broke that spell in the fifth on Denard Span's run-scoring groundout, halting the Dodgers' season-opening scoreless streak one inning shy of tying the Major League record, held by the 1963 Cardinals at 32 frames. Panik followed with a triple before Posey doubled him home. One inning later, Angel Pagan's two-run single put the Giants ahead before RBI singles by Panik and Posey padded their lead.
"Glad we didn't help them make history," Panik said. "We don't usually pay attention to that kind of stuff."
Joc Pederson's two-run homer in the eighth narrowed San Francisco's lead to a lone run before Panik hit another run-scoring single in the bottom of the inning. Hunter Pence's subsequent grand slam made the score lopsided.
"Petey [Pedro Baez] left the ball up," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the pitch Pence blasted. "The linescore isn't the way we played baseball. But those guys put the ball in play and when you do that, good things can happen. Those guys are as good as anybody doing that."
The Dodgers initially controlled the game, building a 4-0 lead through their half of the fifth.Adrian Gonzalez was Giants starter Jake Peavy's primary tormentor as he doubled twice, drove in a run and scored another.
Nice (twice) piece of hitting: The Giants relied on slugging in their season-opening series at Milwaukee, homering in each game. But they proved capable of executing the subtleties of hitting, as Matt Duffy and Brandon Crawford both stroked opposite-field singles to launch the go-ahead surge in the sixth.
"It's about not trying to do too much up there, using the whole field," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Those balls weren't hit really hard, but they went with the pitch."
Off the bench: Giving Justin Turner and Carl Crawford a rest in the day game after a night game and travel, Kik√© Hernandez took over third base and Scott Van Slyke started in left field. Hernandez singled in a run during the two-run second inning and Van Slyke doubled in a run in the fifth.
Little goes a long way: When the Giants made it a competitive game again in the fifth inning, it was Kelby Tomlinson's bunt single that hastened the rally. Batting for Peavy, Tomlinson surprised the Dodgers by tapping Alex Wood's first pitch a mere 10 to 20 feet up the first-base line.
"That kind of got us going," Bochy said.
Gold Glove: Gonzalez, who had two doubles and a single, saved the Dodgers' 4-3 lead in the fifth inning when he reached to catch a wide throw from second baseman Chase Utleyon Brandon Belt's groundout that ended the inning.
"They have a good lineup, but our offense gave us six runs. We need to win that game." -- Dodgers rookie catcher Austin Barnes
The Giants' 12-run total was their highest for a home opener since April 8, 1999, at Candlestick Park, where they also scored a dozen in a 12-4 victory over San Diego.
The Dodgers notched an extra run by requesting a review of an apparent inning-ending double play in the second with the bases loaded and one out. The review demonstrated that Panik, playing second base, did not have his foot on the bag as he took shortstop Crawford's relay. The call was overturned, enabling Pederson's run to count.
Bochy noted that in previous years, the double play would have gone uncontested because it wasn't allowed under the replay rules. But that has changed this season.
"It gets back to the old neighborhood play," Bochy said. "It's going to be an adjustment for some infielders."
Dodgers: Ross Stripling makes his Major League debut as the starting pitcher Friday night at 7:15 PT. Stripling, who has never pitched above Double-A, was named the fifth starter two years after Tommy John surgery.
Giants: Friday should generate the atmosphere of another opener, since it's San Francisco's first home night game of the season and the renewal of the club's Orange Friday promotion. Right-hander Matt Cain will start against the Dodgers in the 7:15 p.m. PT affair.

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