It was not easy in the end, but the Giants could breathe a sigh of relief as they did not let their 5-0 lead in the ninth inning slip away completely.
Tim Lincecum cruised for the first seven innings, allowing only four hits and striking out seven. He did not walk one batter in the entire start, and even contributed offensively with two perfect sacrifice bunts.
The Giants offense got on top in the third inning, with a three run outburst to give them the lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the evening. Bengie Molina and John Bowker would each hit RBI singles and Juan Uribe hit a sacrifice fly.
They would strike again in the seventh inning, when Edgar Renteria doubled to deep center field driving in a run. That would be his second of two hits in the game, and the Giants will need him to come through in the clutch this season like he did tonight.
In the eighth inning, Mark DeRosa would welcome himself to the Giants with a solo homerun to right field, to put the Giants up 5-0.
After Lincecum left after the seventh, Sergio Romo would come in, and after a little bit of trouble, retire the side. But in the ninth inning, things started to go awry with Brandon Medders on the mound.
He would only retire one batter, and allowed three hits and two runs. He was replaced by closer Brian Wilson, who retired the final two batters to get the save and seal the opening day victory for the Giants.
Molina, Uribe, and Renteria each had two hits for the Giants, while Sandoval, Huff, and Bowker each added singles.
The Giants gave a good, collective effort tonight, but a noticeable problem in this game was something that plagued them all of last season; patience at the plate. It’s only one game, but the Giants must practice patience, because they swung at a lot of bad pitches, and very early in counts. The only player who should be excluded from this rule is Pablo Sandoval, who, as Joe Morgan noted during the broadcast, needs to be left alone because it works for him.
The Giants will battle the Astros at 8PM EST tomorrow night, as Barry Zito will face Wandy Rodriguez.