PHOENIX (CBS/AP) — Leave it to Madison Bumgarner to get baseball off to a smashing start.
The San Francisco ace, known for his dominant pitching in October, provided an opening day jolt by hitting not one, but two home runs Sunday for the Giants. But this opening day would not belong to the Lads from the City by the Bay.
Chris Owings singled home the winning run and the Arizona Diamondbacks scored twice with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning off new San Francisco closer Mark Melancon to beat the Giants 6-5 in a wild season opener.
Derailed by a dreadful bullpen last year, the Giants started this season the same way – even after trying to fix the problem by bringing in Melancon on a $62 million, four-year contract. They wasted a record-breaking performance by Bumgarner, who retired his first 16 batters and became the first pitcher to hit two home runs on opening day.
Arizona got a double and three singles after Melancon (0-1) retired his first two batters in the ninth. A.J. Pollock singled in the tying run and Owings dumped a base hit into right field to end it.
The Giants had 32 blown saves last season, including nine in September. In their final playoff game, manager Bruce Bochy went through five relievers in the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco was eliminated from the Division Series after allowing four runs for a 6-5 defeat.
That led to an offseason overhaul in the bullpen, headlined by the arrival of Melancon as a free agent. He saved 98 games over the past two seasons, most in the majors.
New Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney (1-0) gave up a run in a shaky ninth but got the victory.
San Francisco took a 5-4 lead when Joe Panik led off the ninth with a triple and scored on pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie’s sacrifice fly.
Bumgarner struck out 11 with no walks in seven innings. He gave up three runs on six hits and became the first Giants pitcher to go deep twice in one game since Jim Gott in 1985.
Bumgarner’s line-drive homer off Zack Greinke put the Giants ahead 2-0 in the fifth. Bumgarner’s second solo shot, off lefty Andrew Chafin, broke a 3-all tie in the seventh.
Arizona had three straight singles off Derek Law, and Paul Goldschmidt’s bouncing hit between third and shortstop tied it at 4 in the eighth.
Jeff Mathis broke up Bumgarner’s perfect-game bid with a one-out triple into the left-field corner in the sixth. Mathis scored on Nick Ahmed’s pinch-hit single, and Pollock followed with a two-run homer just over the left-field fence that tied it at 3.
Greinke was limited to five innings due to a high pitch count. He allowed two runs on four hits, striking out four and throwing 92 pitches.
Eduardo Nunez, a midseason acquisition by the Giants from Minnesota last season, had three hits, including a double. He scored a run, drove in another and stole two bases.
Pollock and Mathis each had three hits.
Giants: Utilityman Trevor Brown (sprained right ankle) and OF Mac Williamson (strained left quad) opened the season on the 10-day disabled list. Both moves were retroactive to May 30.
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto starts Tuesday after an outstanding first season with the Giants, when he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA.
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed