With the signing of Manny Machado, promotion of hotshot prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. and more buzz surrounding the franchise than there had been in at least a decade, the San Diego Padres were eager to show the San Francisco Giants and the rest of the NL West what they were all about.
Sure enough, the sellout throng at Petco Park — the fastest Opening Day sellout in the stadium’s history — was treated to see a 2-0 victory, rather than see their park become a southern outpost of the Giants’ fanbase.
Padres starter Eric Lauer, taking the mound with all the swagger in the world as Eazy-E blared over the speakers, held San Francisco (0-1) to just four hits over six shutout innings, and Wil Myers provided all the offense the hosts needed.
Machado went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a double play as he was victimized by Madison Bumgarner, who struck out nine over seven innings, but the Giants’ ace was outdone by Lauer and a quartet of Padres relievers.
Bumgarner was one of the lone bright spots for the Giants, who mustered just five hits — all singles. One of those came from the starting pitcher, and Evan Longoria had a pair of base hits, but the visitors would have just one at-bat with runners in scoring position all day. That came in the seventh with Yangervis Solarte pinch-hitting, and Craig Stammen got him to ground out harmlessly.
Stammen was one of three relievers to take the mound in the seventh inning for San Diego (1-0) after Lauer scattered just four hits and a walk over the first six frames. Trey Wingenter allowed a single to Buster Posey but retired Brandon Crawford on a force out. Aaron Loup got pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra to ground out and Stammen not only took care of Solarte, but set the guests down in order in the eighth as well. Kirby Yates pitched a perfect ninth with a pair of strikeouts for the save, striking out Posey to end the game.
Myers took Bumgarner deep to right-center on a colossal 456-foot blast in the bottom of the third, then singled in the Padres’ second run in the bottom of the sixth after Ian Kinsler led off the frame with a double.
Tatis Jr. singled to left off of Bumgarner for his first career hit in the second, and reached again on a bunt single in the fourth. The only comparable feat for the Giants was Connor Joe’s first career walk, as the utility man — acquired less than a week ago from the Cincinnati Reds — drew a free pass from Lauer in the second.
Joe was replaced by Parra in the seventh and Michael Reed, who batted after him and went 0-for-2, was pinch-hit for by Solarte. Those two spots in the lineup were handled by newcomers for the Giants, as was the bullpen. The one inning that Bumgarner didn’t handle was taken care of by Nick Vincent, a former Padre, who allowed a single to Austin Hedges but got Kinsler to bounce into a double play.