LOS ANGELES — For the second straight day Joe Panik ruined an otherwise stellar pitching performance, this time homering off Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning to give the Giants their second 1-0 win over the Dodgers in as many days.
The Dodgers have been shut out in their first two games for the second time in the 135-year history of the franchise, and the first time since 1968.
Before Friday’s game Dodgers manager Dave Roberts praised Alex Wood’s fire and competitiveness, and said the left-hander has upped his preparation by being around Clayton Kershaw for a few years.
“He’s really evolved and ascended to that top-tier level,” Roberts said.
On Friday Wood lived up to that billing, allowing only one hit in eight scoreless innings, with five strikeouts and no walks. He had to be that stingy because Johnny Cueto was similarly brilliant, allowing just one hit of his own in seven innings.
Cueto took a perfect game into the seventh inning, but Chris Taylor broke it up with a leadoff single. He was immediately erased on a double play ground ball by Corey Seager.
That’s been the Dodgers offense two games into the season.
“That’s a total outlier for us,” Wood said. “After these first two games I’m sure everybody is freaking out because we lost our first two. But we have a great team from top to bottom.”
The early going must have had Rich Hill shuddering somewhere in the dugout, seeing the Dodgers held scoreless and the only thing between a perfect game for a Dodgers pitcher an error by Logan Forsythe.
Only on Friday it was two miscues by the sure-handed Forsythe, the first a high throw on an Austin Jackson grounder in the fourth inning then a bobble of a Hunter Pence ball in the fifth. Forsythe added a third error in the ninth inning, matching his total in 301⅔ innings at third base for all of 2017.
“That will be the last time I assure you that will ever happen to Logan,” Roberts said. “He’s a very, very good defender all over the infield, and at third especially. I’m sure it’s a night he would like to forget.”
Those first two errors were the only two Giants batters to reach base before Brandon Crawford ‘s 100-foot dribbler to no man’s land to the right of second base was the game’s first hit.
That turned out to be the only hit allowed by Wood, who allowed 15 ground balls (plus a sacrifice bunt) to his 28 batters faced, and struck out five on the night.
Seager added an error to give the Dodgers four on the night, their first four-error game since 2013.
Home run: Joe Panik (2)
WP - Tony Watson (1-0): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts
LP - Kenley Jansen (0-1): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run
Sv - Hunter Strickland (2): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts