Panik homer the difference as Cueto, Giants shut down Dodgers
Panik! At Dodger Stadium
LOS ANGELES — Joe Panik took Clayton Kershaw deep on opening day. That’s tough to match, but somehow he did it.
Panik welcomed Kenley Jansen, perhaps the best closer in the game, with a solo shot to right in the top of the ninth, snapping a scoreless tie and leading the Giants to their second 1-0 win in two days.
Panik became the third Giant to homer off Jansen, joining Pablo Sandoval and Denard Span. The blast came on a 90 mph cutter that was down and in, and gave the Giants the win on a night that for a while looked headed for the record books.
Johnny Cueto and Dodgers lefty Alex Wood had a memorable duel. Both took no-hitters through four and Cueto kept going once Wood was marked. He had a perfect game through six. While Cueto was chasing history, Wood kept pace, allowing just one hit in his eight innings. The two faced 49 batters and allowed one hit, and it didn’t even leave the infield grass.
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Cueto in control
Cueto’s bid to join Matt Cain ended in the seventh when Chris Taylor dumped a bloop single into right field. He had not even been particularly threatened up to that point. Wood took the count to 3-2 with two outs the inning before, but Cueto threw a perfect fastball on the outside corner as he twirled off the mound. Taylor was immediately erased by a Corey Seager double play.
This was the fourth time in Cueto’s career that he went seven or more innings and allowed one hit. His low last season was four hits, and that came in a start that lasted just 5 1/3 innings. This was the Cueto of old, as he mixed his changeup, slider and cutter with a darting fastball that touched 93 mph several times.
An easy decision
The single saved Bruce Bochy from a fair amount of heartburn. Cueto was at 86 pitches through six, more than he threw in any of his spring tuneups. He was at 97 after seven and his spot came up second in the top of the eighth, so Kelby Tomlinson pinch-hit.
A (mostly) quiet night
The Giants did not have a hit until the fifth, when Brandon Crawford reached on a two-out infield single that crept past Wood and was hit too slowly for Seager to get a throw off. The offense didn’t get any better after that.
It's elementary for Watson
Tony Watson was just as good the second time out. He struck out Cody Bellinger and Yasmani Grandal before getting Matt Kemp to ground out to short. In two innings as a Giant, Watson has faced seven batters and struck out five of them.