If you hadn’t heard of Manuel Margot before today, you certainly have now. The hot young Padres prospect made himself known to the home crowd by launching two solo shots off Matt Cain in this afternoon’s home opener. Luis Perdomo made a pretty solid impression himself before running into trouble in the sixth inning.
Perdomo’s first brush with trouble came in the first when Joe Panik hit a leadoff double. He got Aaron Hill to fly out, but Panik went to third on the play. Perdomo got Brandon Belt to strike out and Brandon Crawford to ground out, but a terrible balk call sent Panik home to put the Giants on the board first. Their lead didn’t hold long, with Margot finding the perfect pitch on a 3-1 count to start the bottom of the first for his first career home run.
That was a decent start to the game for a team that had gone 1-3 in their opening series, especially when absolutely nobody expects them to do anything this year. Manny didn’t care for those expectations, launching his second career homer to start the third inning. Wil Myers followed that up with a one-out double, and a single from Yangervis Solarte brought him home to put the good guys up 3-1.
They padded that lead in the fifth, thanks to Travis Jankowski’s wheels. He hit a leadoff single, then swiped second to put Solarte in position to knock in another run. That three-run lead looked pretty good, but Perdomo’s wheels came off the very next inning.
Connor Gillaspie started the sixth with a single to center, and Panik followed that up with a double. A walk to Aaron Hill loaded the bases, and that’s when things turned sour. Brandon Belt made Perdomo pay with a grand slam to center field. Thankfully, the Giants’ bullpen is made of used chewing gum and toothpicks. Jankowski led off the seventh with a walk, and Myers followed up with a single. Solarte picked up his third and fourth RBI of the day with a two-run double to put the Padres back on top. He went to third on a fly out from Hunter Renfroe, and a bunt by Austin Hedges turned into an insurance run.
That insurance run came in handy when Ryan Buchter gave up a solo shot to Belt, but Buchter got out of the eighth without any more damage, and Brandon Maurer picked up his first save of the year with a perfect ninth inning.
The guys are back at the ballpark at 5:40 PM, as Jhoulys Chacin tries to redeem himself by bringing the team back to .500.