San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Panik played the role of hero with his bloop single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the San Francisco Giants a 3-2 win over the LA Angels in the opener of a three-game interleague series.
Joe Smith (0-1) took the mound for LA in a ninth inning that turned out to be an eventful, and lengthy, half inning.
Buster Posey led things off with an infield single. Gregor Blanco pinch-ran for Posey and moved to second on Justin Maxwell's sacrifice bunt and Andrew Susac drew a walk. Smith's ball four to him got past catcher Chris Iannetta and struck home plate umpire Bill Miller in the left knee cap.
Miller fell to the dirt in obvious pain, but opted to stay in the game. Three batters later, with the bases loaded and two outs, Panik stepped in as a pinch hitter and got a belt-high fastball that he dumped into center to plate Blanco for the game winner.
"He's a good hitter," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "He's a great weapon to have off the bench at that point."
The late win overshadowed another strong outing from rookie starter Chris Heston, who gave the Giants 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball.
C.J. Wilson also allowed one run in seven innings for LA.
Nori Aoki led off the home first with a double, moved to third on Matt Duffy's groundout and scored on Angel Pagan's sacrifice fly.
That 1-0 lead held until the seventh inning, when the offense finally picked up. Heston gave up three singles in the top of the inning, with Matt Joyce's poke to right-center plating David Freese and tying the score.
San Francisco got the run back in the home seventh on Susac's RBI single that scored Pagan, but the Angels countered a half inning later.
Santiago Casilla (3-0), the third pitcher used in the inning, entered with the bases loaded and one out. His second pitch got Freese to line out to center field, but Pagan was slow to get the ball in and Erick Aybar scored to make it 2-2. C.J. Cron popped up to first base with two in scoring position to end the threat.
Angels slugger Albert Pujols (hamstring) missed his second straight game ... LA went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight.