SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Panik no longer is the wide-eyed rookie, worried about proving he belongs in the majors, learning about a new pitcher seemingly every game and trying to be the solution to a revolving-door position.

On Saturday, Panik continued his hot streak by delivering an RBI single during a game-tying, four-run rally and scoring the game-deciding run in the Giants' 6-5, come-from-behind victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

"He's playing well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's fun to see how this kid has gotten settled in. He's thrown out some good at-bats."

Few match Panik's leadoff triple in the eighth inning off left-hander Antonio Bastardo, which enabled Panik to score on a Gregor Blanco single one batter later.

That completed a turnaround from a 5-1 deficit and paved the way for the Giants to win for just the second time in eight games.

Panik said "it felt good" to be in the middle of the things offensively. It feels even better, he said, being able to concentrate on baseball and not extraneous things.

"When you first come up, everything is new to you," said Panik, whose big league debut was June 21. "Pitchers you've never seen before, the atmosphere, everything off the field. Once you settle in, you start to get a feel for everything. I feel like I've really hit my stride."

Who's to argue? Panik banged out two hits Saturday and is 16 for 39 in his past 11 games.


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Panik has upped his average to .274 during that time and gained the trust of Bochy -- and, who knows, perhaps general manager Brian Sabean.

"It's all about getting settled in up here and having that confidence," Bochy said, "and he does have that."

To that end, Panik has earned the right to be the everyday second baseman, at least through the end of this season.

It wasn't long ago that the Giants were thought to be interested in trading for a veteran second baseman such as the Phillies' Chase Utley.

That deadline passed more than two weeks ago. Perhaps it's not a coincidence that Panik has since flourished.

For a while, it appeared as if the Giants were headed to another disheartening loss.

Then came the sixth. After Buster Posey's leadoff single, a Pablo Sandoval infield pop-up turned into a fielder's choice and a throwing error when Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard misplayed the ball and Utley fired wide in an attempt to get the out at second.

Later in the inning, Panik's chopper off the plate stayed in the air long enough for him to beat the throw to first, and pinch-hitter Blanco's soft liner found a safe landing spot. Before long, the Giants had cobbled together a four-run rally and erased a 5-1 deficit.

Most important, the Giants received contributions up and down the lineup.

"Hopefully ... we'll get back to where we are, a team that gets contributions from everybody throughout the lineup," Bochy said.

The team effort helped offset an off day for starter Tim Hudson, who lasted only four-plus innings.

He said he felt "out of sync," for whatever reason, from the start.

"It was a good win for us," Hudson said. "It's kind of tough to get put in a 5-1 hole, but our guys kept battling. They showed a lot of resiliency. I didn't hold up my end of the bargain, but everybody else did. That's what it takes to win sometimes."

  • Sergio Romo notched his first save since June 22 and 23rd on the season. Bochy said Romo was the "freshest" guy in the bullpen and that it was time to give closer Santiago Casilla a day off.

  • Michael Morse collected his second triple of the season in the second inning. That matches his career-high (2010). He has six triples in his career. Morse also hammered two doubles and walked in his three other plate appearances.

  • Hunter Pence staked the Giants to a 1-0 lead with a one-out home run in the first inning. It was his 16th home run of the season.

  • Matt Duffy replaced shortstop Brandon Crawford as part of a double switch in the fifth, at the same time Hudson was removed from the game. Bochy said the move was strategically based and had nothing to do with Crawford's recent struggles at the plate.

  • Jeremy Affeldt notched the win in relief. Bochy said he was impressed by how well Affeldt bounced back less than 24 hours after Affeldt allowed a two-run, game-tying home run in a game the Giants eventually lost.

  • Posey entered Saturday's game hitting .239 at home and .328 on the road this season.

    "That's another one, I don't have the answer for that," Bochy said. "I can't tell you why that is the case."

  • If the Giants are looking for positive signs, 25 of their final 40 games are against teams with losing records. Those 25 are against the Phillies, Cubs, Rockies, Diamondbacks and Padres. The 15 other games are against the Nationals, Brewers, Tigers and Dodgers.

    SUNDAY'S GAME
    Philadelphia (David Buchanan 6-6) at Giants (Tim Lincecum 9-8), 1:05 p.m. CSNBA


    finding his way at second
    Giants rookie Joe Panik has settled in at second base after some early struggles. Here's a look at the 23-year-old's monthly stats since his June call-up with San Francisco:
    Month AB R AVG. RBI
    June 23 0 .174 2
    July 47 6 .234 3
    August 43 5 .372 3
    Totals 113 11 .274 8