Rookie slugs sixth homer; catcher contributes two doubles
By Chris Haft
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Emerging from a spring hitting hiatus, Joe Panik went 3-for-3 and scored three runs Sunday to help the Giants defeat a Los Angeles Dodgers split squad, 11-9, in a Cactus League game.
Panik, who lifted his batting average from .154 to .200, doubled and scored in the first inning to open the Giants' scoring. He also doubled and scored in the fifth, when San Francisco's three-run outburst broke 3-3 tie, and singled before scoring in the sixth.
The Giants needed all the offense they could muster, as Enrique Hernandez's three-run homer off George Kontos narrowed the difference to a single run in the eighth inning. Matt Duffy's third hit of the day, an RBI double, highlighted a two-run bottom of the eighth.
Trailing, 3-1, the Dodgers pulled even in the third inning on Joc Pederson's sixth home run of the spring and Yasmani Grandal's RBI double. Pederson went 2-for-3 to lift his spring average to .389.
The Giants' big fifth began with Panik's second double. Brandon Belt drew a two-out walk to prolong the inning against Dodgers right-hander Juan Nicasio, who hadn't issued a walk in 10 innings entering Sunday. Nicasio then yielded an RBI single to his Giants counterpart, Ryan Vogelsong. Brandon Crawford walked to set up Duffy's two-run single.
Every starting Giants position player except left fielder Travis Ishikawa collected a least one hit.
Giants starter Matt Cain allowed three runs and six hits in four innings but proved to manager Bruce Bochy that his surgically repaired throwing elbow was sound.
"I thought this was an important day for him," Bochy said of Cain, who faced Minor Leaguers in his previous two starts.
Dodgers starter Carlos Frias, who already has been optioned to the Minors, surrendered three runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Giants Up Next: With the roster substantially trimmed, manager Bruce Bochy will begin tuning up reserve players just as much as the regulars so everybody begins the season feeling sharp. That mean more activity for the likes of outfielder Justin Maxwell, catcher Hector Sanchez and infielders Duffy and Ehire Adrianza. The Giants play their final Spring Training road game in Arizona on Monday, facing the Cubs at 1:05 p.m. PT.
Dodgers Up Next:Brett Anderson will start for the Dodgers on Monday against Arizona and former Dodgers farmhand Allen Webster, who was ejected from a game against the Dodgers earlier this spring for hitting a batter with a pitch after umpire warnings were issued. Juan Uribe, scratched from Sunday action because of illness, is expected to be back in the lineup.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.