Giants Look to Spoil Dodgers Home Opener

Categories: Sports

Courtesy of Jeff Sklar
But the beard stays the same
The Giants accomplished exactly what they hoped to: beating the hapless Diamondbacks three out of four to open the 2014 season in Phoenix.

San Francisco scored 23 runs versus Arizona "pitching" in the series, with Brandon Belt (three home runs and five RBIs) and Angel Pagan (.421 with 6 RBIs) leading the way. Pagan put an exclamation point on the series with a three-run homer in the team's five-run eighth inning yesterday.

The Giants were able to overcome a shaky start from Tim Lincecum, who seemed to pick up where he left off following a Spring Training earned run average of 5.79, by allowing four runs in six innings Friday.

But a win is a win, and you can't ask for more than a four-game series victory to open a season on the road. Any season and anywhere on the road. Even Arizona.

See Also: 5 Things You Can Expect From The Giants This Season

Tim Hudson was a revelation in his first outing as a Giant. The 38-year-old free agent right-hander, of A's and Braves fame, cruised through 7 2/3 innings of three-hit baseball, with no walks, seven strikeouts and 103 pitches Wednesday. He's scheduled to pitch the home opener at AT&T Park Tuesday afternoon at 1:35 p.m.

The Dodgers are up next, however, in an early season battle for first place. After two March victories over the Dbacks in Australia and a series win in San Diego this week, 4-1 L.A. has a half game lead over the 3-1 Giants coming into the series, which opens today in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers are without the services of ace starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who's out at least through April with a back injury, and former-Giant closer Brian Wilson (disabled with a sore elbow), but are expected to have center fielder back from his various ailments beginning today.

Matchups for the series are as follows: Ryan Vogelsong versus Hyun-Jin Ryu today at 1:10 p.m., Madison Bumgarner opposite Paul Maholm Saturday at 1:10 p.m. on Fox, and Matt Cain vs. Zack Greinke Sunday at 5:00 p.m. on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.

Howard Cole is an L.A.-based baseball writer, born in what is now the Scientology Building on Sunset Blvd., a Pence's throw from Dodger Stadium. He's also the founding director of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA). Please follow him on Twitter @Howard_Cole

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