ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Joe Panik bounced right back up and ran to first base in the fifth inning after a pitch struck his helmet. Four innings later his 395-foot drive into the right field seats helped the San Francisco Giants stay hot.
Panik had a career-high four RBIs, including a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the ninth inning that sent the Giants to their seventh straight win, 6-4 over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.”‘READ MORE: Film Fans Tell New Castro Theatre Managers To Keep It Reel
“Joe’s so steady,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s so even-keel, day to day, he slows the game down as well as anybody. He’s got a great pace to his swing and his defense and he’s very calm out there.”
Panik’s two-out drive off Alex Colome (1-2) helped lift the NL West leaders to a season-high 17 games over .500.
Colome, the Rays closer, had his streak of 21 consecutive scoreless innings end on what he called a “flat” cutter.
“He’s been outstanding,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “Hopefully he’s pitching for us again tomorrow because if he is it means we’re winning the game.”
Panik’s other RBI came when Matt Moore hit him on an 0-2 pitch in the fifth with the bases loaded.
“It caught me above the ear, it caught me pretty good,” Panik said. “I was watching the replay, and it wasn’t a glancing blow. I have to thank my father for giving me that thick skull.”
The Giants pulled even at 3 on Brandon Crawford’s two-out RBI single in the eighth off Erasmo Ramirez.
Crawford is hitting .365 (23 for 63) with runners in scoring position.
Hunter Strickland (3-0) worked of a two-on, two-out jam in the eighth to get the win. Cory Gearrin allowed Logan Forsythe’s solo homer in the ninth before getting his second save.
Tampa Bay also got solo homers from Evan Longoria, Brad Miller and Logan Morrison.
Morrison made it 3-1 on a fourth-inning shot.
Moore gave up a leadoff double in the seventh to Trevor Brown and was replaced by Xavier Cedeno, who worked out of trouble.READ MORE: Health Experts, Parents, Teachers Call for Lifting Mask Mandates Post-Omicron
Moore, starting on his 27th birthday, allowed two runs and six hits over six-plus innings.
Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead on Miller’s solo drive in the third. Longoria put the Rays up 1-0 in the first on his eighth homer in his last 13 games.
The Giants tied it at 1 on Matt Duffy’s second-inning homer.
San Francisco rookie Albert Suarez, a Tampa Bay minor leaguer from 2008-14, allowed three runs and five hits over 4 2-3 innings in his third start and ninth appearance.
The teams wore retro 1970s uniforms as part of Turn Back the Clock day at Tropicana Field.
Giants: RHP Sergio Romo (right flexor strain) started a rehab assignment with Class A San Jose Friday night by striking out two during a scoreless inning.
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb threw 15 fastballs in his first batting practice session since Tommy John surgery in May 2015. “I’m very happy with how my arm felt,” said Cobb, who could return in late July or early August. . OF Brandon Guyer (strained left hamstring) hit against Cobb. . RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) had a 50-pitch bullpen session and is expected to face hitters within the next week.
While in the Rays organization, Suarez had Tommy John surgery, Lyme disease and an oblique injury. He appeared in 15 or fewer games in six of his seven minor league seasons with Tampa Bay. . Suarez and Moore were teammates with rookie-level Princeton in 2008.
Giants: RHP Jake Peavy (3-6) had his scheduled start pushed back from Saturday to Sunday because of a stiff neck.
Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-3) is 6-3 with 3.33 ERA in 13 interleague starts.MORE NEWS: Niners Faithful Return From Green Bay With Cherished Memories of Epic Win
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