Padres Win A Thriller At Petco Opener

It took David Wells just seven pitches to exit the first inning 1-2-3. He continued his dominance over seven innings, allowing four hits and one walk over seven. He was helped by San Diego Padres centerfielder Jay Payton who stole a homer away from Barry Bonds in the sixth inning. Only two Giants reached second base against Wells, but the bullpen could not hold the lead. After being down twice, the Padres won it in the tenth in a thriller on opening night of Petco Park!

For David Wells, it was just his twelfth start as a National Leaguer and it was his first ever against San Francisco. Since 2000, the Padres entered play with a record of 20-49 against the Giants and Wells was here to start a new era with a new park, Petco Park.

The familiar ring of ‘Hells Bells' marked the start of the ninth after Akinori Otsuka tossed a scoreless eighth. Two straight singles off Hoffman put the opener in jeopardy. Yorvit Torrealba sacrificed the runners over. AJ Pierzynski pinch hit, swung at the first pitch and hit a one hopper to Greene who came right home on a strike to Hernandez, catching the runner at home for out number two. The next pitch was smacked by Ray Durham into left center and went over the head of Kerry Robinson for a double, scoring two to put the Giants up 2-1.

Khalil Greene started the ninth with a base hit to left off Matt Herges. Ramon Vasquez put down a solid bunt that stuck on the edge of the grass down the third base line, sacrificing Greene to second. Sean Burroughs battled off a number of two strike pitches to force a 3-2 count before taking a hanging changeup and smacking a single up the middle to tie the game at two. It was his second RBI of the game. A ground out by Loretta sent Burroughs into scoring position. Brian Giles was intentionally walked to get to Phil Nevin who entered play 3-for-9 against Herges. Nevin popped out, sending the game into extra frames.

It didn't take long for the Giants to regain the lead. With Antonio Osuna on the mound, Marquis Grissom, the first man up, hit a home run to put the Giants ahead 3-2.

The Padres came back in the tenth. Kerry Robinson opened with a single, and after two outs, Greene walked. Miguel Ojeda came on to pinch hit and smoked a ground rule double to left center that scored Robinson. Greene, unfortunately, had to go back to third. Burroughs followed and hit a blooper to the opposite field that dropped in and gave the Padres the win, 4-3.

The Padres scored the first run of the game and at Petco by a Major League team in the third inning. Burroughs took a hanger over the plate and drove it to the wall to knock in the first run at Petco. Greene came in to score on the ground rule double to put the Padres up 1-0.

Mark Loretta just missed the first homer in Petco Park history. He knocked a double to left in the fifth, but it was not to be.

Jay Payton made the play of the day in the top half of the sixth. Barry Bonds hit a ball to straight away center in what many in attendance thought for sure was his 660th to tie his Godfather Willie Mays, but Payton went inches over the top of the wall to snare it and keep the Giants off the board, Bonds at 0-for-3, and the first homer in Petco still waiting to be hit.

Kerry Robinson made a phenomenal running catch on the left field line, diving and sliding into the wall to make the grab off the bat from Durham in the eighth inning.

Greene went 3-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored. Burroughs drove him in all three times.

Notes: Five of the Padres eight starting position players as well as tonight's starting pitcher, David Wells, were born or raised in Southern California...first baseman Phil Nevin was born and grew up in Fullerton, second baseman Mark Loretta was born in Santa Monica, third baseman Sean Burroughs grew up in Long Beach, right fielder Ryan Klesko was born in Westminster, Brian Giles was born and grew up in El Cajon and Wells was born in Torrance and grew up in Point Loma...with his start tonight, Wells will become the first native San Diegan to start a game for the Padres since John D'Acquisto took the mound at San Diego Stadium on July 26, 1979 (Padres defeat Giants 6-2)...Mark Langston, who pitched for the Padres in 1998, was born in San Diego, but moved with his family to Santa Clara when he was less than a year old.

The Padres are now 19-17 in home openers, 1-0 at Petco.

Padres' starters have combined to allow four earned runs over 25.1 innings of work for a 1.44 ERA over the Friars first four games.

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