Panik homers as Giants beat Lackey, Cubs 6-4

The Giants sent LHP Matt Moore (2-4, 5.37 ERA) against Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (3-2, 3.35 ERA) in Wednesday's game.

That Jon Lester-Johnny Cueto pitching matchup the Giants desperately wanted to see in Game 5 last October - and that the Cubs' were ecstatic to avert in the first round of the playoffs? Cueto struck out 10 while throwing eight innings of three-hit ball.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon on Monday reiterated what he said after the Cubs won the World Series: the Game 4 comeback was the most important game of the postseason, not the classic, back-and-forth Game 7 against the Indians in the Fall Classic.

The Cubs and San Francisco Giants both entered Monday with their own sets of problems after a memorable division series between them previous year. Panik, Belt and Justin Ruggiano each had two RBIs as the streaking Giants won for the eighth time in 10 games.

"Our guys did a nice job swinging the bat", San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. He had only managed hit 10 for 58 and was averaging.172 before Monday's clash against the Cubs.

"To jump on the board early, it was cool", said Panik, who went 3-for-4 with his first career leadoff homer. "The ball was just flying out. Just using the whole field".

Ruggiano's leadoff drive in the eighth made it 6-0 and gave San Francisco 18 straight solo homers, just three from matching its major league record of 21 set in 2011.

Kris Bryant smashed two of the Cubs' four home runs in a 13-6 win over the Brewers on Sunday at Wrigley Field. But the rally stalled from there. A Brandon Crawford double did the only damage for the visitors.

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Giants closer Mark Melancon faced four batters in a scoreless ninth for his ninth save. Kyle Schwarber is handling left field and will hit second while Ian Happ starts in center and hits fifth. I shall sleep well. "We have to keep working hard and staying focused, and a lot of that is rhythm of the game".

Blach pitched well in Tuesday's win over the Dodgers, allowing one run on five hits over seven innings. The Giants followed with two more hard-hit balls, but Lackey got bailed out by two outstanding defensive plays. Chicago 2B Ben Zobrist's third-inning single extended his on-base streak to 21 games dating to April 28.

Schwarber's seventh homer of the season opened scoring in the last of the first.

Panik struck quickly with a first-inning homer and added a third-inning RBI double. He allowed all of Washington's runs and 14 of their 15 hits without recording a strikeout.

"That's a tough night to pitch". You never say your back's against the wall when you're in May, but we've dug ourselves a pretty good hole, but we're doing a pretty good job of digging our way out.

Giants: CF Denard Span was sidelined by a sprained left thumb.

Adam Jones hit a three-run drive in the second off victor Kyle Gibson (1-4). "Tomorrow will be a big step", Anderson said. Lester threw only 99 pitches in a game that took only 2 hours, 5 minutes to play after a rain delay of 1 hour, 5 minutes at the start.

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