SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Joe Panik was fairly calm in the midst of his eight-pitch battle with Atlanta closer Luke Jackson. A pair of stolen bases earlier in the ninth inning, including one by pinch-runner Mac Williamson that put the winning run in scoring position, helped take the pressure off the Giants leadoff hitter.
Panik hit a game-ending two-run single off Jackson with two outs in the ninth to lift the San Francisco Giants to a 4-3 win over the Braves on Tuesday night.
“Great comeback,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We looked pretty flat. We just couldn’t get it going. To come back and win it in the ninth like that, that’s huge.”
Brandon Crawford began the comeback with a one-out single. After Steven Duggar struck out, Kevin Pillar singled in Crawford. Pillar stole second then moved to third on Pablo Sandoval’s pinch-hit infield single. Williamson stole second before Panik slapped a 3-2 pitch from Jackson into right field to cap the three-run rally.
“Any time you can advance 90 feet it’s big in that situation,” Panik said. “Especially for me, having Mac at second base versus first base, I don’t have to hit a double to win the game. Just stay within myself, stay through the middle of the field and you can win the game that way with a single. Every 90 feet matters.”
It’s the fourth blown save this season for Jackson (2-1) and spoiled an otherwise strong day by the Braves pitching staff.
Atlanta had won four straight against San Francisco and allowed one run in all four. The Braves were in position to make it five before the Giants rallied with three runs and four hits in the ninth.
The stolen bases by Pillar and Williamson provided the late lift San Francisco needed.
“Kevin, he’s a base stealer but once Mac got it, now you realize it just takes a hit and you win the game,” Bochy said. “You saw the energy pick up in the dugout. We did a nice job.”
Panik and Buster Posey had two hits apiece for San Francisco.
Trevor Gott (2-0) retired three batters to win.
Josh Donaldson, Nick Markakis, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Dansby Swanson had two hits apiece for Atlanta.
“A foot here and a foot there and we would have won,” Atlanta catcher Brian McCann said. “But it’s baseball and you’ve got to turn the page.”
Braves starter Julio Teheran struck out six and gave up three hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings. Teheran has a 0.79 ERA over his last four starts covering 22 2/3 innings. He lost three straight decisions to close out April and had a pair of no-decisions in his first two starts in May.
Acuña backed Teheran with a terrific leaping grab at the fence in center field to rob Brandon Belt of extra bases in the third.
PUT ME IN (ANYWHERE) COACH
Vogt made his second career start in left field. The 34-year-old Vogt has logged 370 games behind the plate. Wednesday marked his fifth appearance in left field and first since 2014 when he was with the Oakland Athletics.
The Giants placed pitcher Travis Bergen on the 10-day injured list because of a left shoulder strain. Bergen is 2-0 with a 4.24 ERA in 18 games this season. Infielder Donovan Solano was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento before the game, one day after being sent down to make room for pitcher Andrew Suarez.
Braves lefty Max Fried (6-2, 2.86 ERA) makes his fifth road start Wednesday. Fried pitched two-hit ball over six scoreless innings against Milwaukee on May 17. RHP Jeff Samardzija (2-2, 3.69) makes his first start against Atlanta since 2017. Samardzija threw a season-low 68 pitches in 5 1/3 innings in his most recent start against Arizona on May 17.
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