Pablo Sandoval lined a walk-off single to left field with one out in the 11th inning Monday night, giving the San Francisco Giants a 2-1 victory over the visiting Chicago Cubs in the opener of a three-game series.
Long after a classic pitchers’ duel between Giants left-hander Andrew Suarez and Cubs righty Kyle Hendricks had ended, San Francisco got consecutive one-out singles by Andrew McCutchen and Brandon Belt in the 11th against the Cubs’ third pitcher, Steve Cishek (2-1), to put runners at first and third.
Pedro Strop was summoned from the bullpen, and after Brandon Crawford was intentionally walked, Sandoval went the opposite way with a two-strike slider for the game-winner.
Ty Blach (6-5), the sixth Giants pitcher, was credited with the win after pitching a scoreless top of the 11th.
Neither starting pitcher got a decision after performing brilliantly.
Pitching into the ninth inning for the first time this season, Hendricks allowed only an unearned run in 8 1/3 innings. He gave up five hits and one walk while striking out eight.
A pair of errors by Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo produced the Giants’ only run against Hendricks in the fifth inning.
Rizzo couldn’t come up with Sandoval’s leadoff grounder, an error that put a runner aboard.
After Alen Hanson grounded into a fielder’s choice that forced Sandoval at second, Hendricks attempted to pick the baserunner off first base. The accurate throw caromed off Rizzo’s glove and rolled down the right field line, allowing Hanson to circle the bases and get the Giants even at 1-1.
Rizzo, a former Gold Glove winner, had committed just three errors in his first 78 games this season.
Suarez left after working six innings, having allowed one run and three hits. He walked four and struck out five.
The Cubs’ only run off the rookie came in the third inning after Ian Happ led off with a double. He advanced to third on Albert Almora Jr.’s one-out single and scored on Addison Russell’s fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop.
Sandoval, Belt and Hunter Pence had two hits apiece for the Giants, who won their second straight.
Happ, Russell and Ben Zobrist had doubles for the Cubs, who totaled only four hits in the opener of a six-game trip.
—Field Level Media