McCutchen’s RBI single in 7th lifts Giants past Cards 3-2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — On a night the slumping Giants broke out of their offensive funk and ended a four-game losing streak, second baseman Joe Panik was forced out with a groin strain and is likely headed to the disabled list.
Such is life for manager Bruce Bochy and his beleaguered ballclub this season.
Andrew McCutchen hit an RBI single to drive in Hunter Pence from second base in the seventh inning and the Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on Friday night.
But San Francisco’s win was tempered by the loss of Panik, who was injured while running from first to third on Gorkys Hernandez’s double in the fourth.
“Bad break there,” Bochy said. “We are going to get an MRI tomorrow, but it looks like he’s headed to the DL. It’s hard to say how long. He did a pretty good job on it.”
Panik, a Gold Glove winner in 2016, missed 31 games this season with a sprained left thumb. His latest injury had Bochy and his staff scrambling to make roster moves after the game. Rookie Alen Hanson is the likely replacement until Panik returns.
“It’s a DL situation, so we’ll huddle up here and talk about what move we’re going to make,” Bochy said.
Pence reached on a pinch-hit single off John Brebbia (1-2) leading off the seventh. After Hanson sacrificed Pence to second and Posey was intentionally walked, McCutchen pushed a 2-2 pitch into left field to drive in the go-ahead run.
Pablo Sandoval homered, Buster Posey singled twice and Brandon Crawford scored on a wild pitch to help the Giants’ slumping offense break out.
Reyes Moronta (5-1) retired one batter to earn the win. Will Smith pitched the ninth for his third save.
Kolton Wong had two hits and two RBIs for the Cardinals.
St. Louis was limited to five hits after setting a season-high with 18 on Friday.
“There’s going to be some nights when they’re going to shut you down,” manager Mike Matheny said. “You have to figure out how to manufacture. You’re not going to be able to score 11 every night.”
It was a back-and-forth game most of the night. After Wong’s RBI double in the second gave the Cardinals an early lead, the Giants tied it in the bottom of the inning without a hit. Crawford and Sandoval walked. Crawford took third on a flyout and scored on a wild pitch.
Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez pitched effectively into the sixth inning, but wasn’t even the most popular member of his family at the ballpark. His father, Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez, sat near San Francisco’s dugout and received a huge ovation from the crowd as highlights of the former catcher’s career played on the giant scoreboard in center field.
“I didn’t even notice until they told me,” the younger Rodriguez said of the videos of his father.
Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong was activated from the disabled list after missing 45 games with a fracture in his left hand. DeJong had not missed a game this season before getting hurt.
“I was kind of anxious before the game just to get out there and start playing because I’ve been waiting for this moment for a while,” said DeJong, who went 1 for 3 with two runs scored.
Cardinals: To make room for DeJong, LHP Austin Gomber was optioned to Triple-A Memphis.
Giants: 3B Evan Longoria could begin swinging off a tee and taking grounders by the end of the weekend, less than three weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his left hand. Longoria is on pace to rejoin the team in the first week of August.
Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez (5-4, 3.20 ERA) goes for his third consecutive win Saturday. Martinez pitched two-hit ball over nine innings, but left with a no-decision the last time he faced the Giants on May 20, 2017. RHP Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 6.56) will come off the disabled list to pitch for San Francisco in his first start since May 29.
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