SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -Although
is the first pitcher ever to homer off the Big Unit, he insists his first victory for the
in nearly 19 months means more to him than his historic hit.
Gallardo pitched neatly into the seventh inning and even provided his own run support with a three-run homer, spoiling
's debut with the
San Francisco Giants
in a 4-2 victory Wednesday night.
Gallardo (1-0) has been alive only slightly longer than Johnson has been a major leaguer, but the 23-year-old gave up six
hits and struck out six while muzzling a Giants team that scored 10 runs on opening day. He was thrilled to see his impressive
spring reflected in his first real game since early last season, when the second of two serious knee injuries in 2008 sidelined
him for the rest of Milwaukee's playoff-bound campaign.
''There were a lot of things going into it, with my first start of the year after I wasn't able to start off with the team
last year,'' Gallardo said. ''There was a little bit of anxiousness there. The win, that's obviously the most important for
Everybody else will remember the homer. After
doubled with two outs in the fifth, Johnson walked
to face Gallardo, who smacked a two-out, two-strike fastball over the fence in the fifth, providing himself with all the run
support he needed.
''Growing up and watching him pitch, he's a great pitcher,'' Gallardo said of the 45-year-old right-hander. ''Not very many
people get the opportunity to do that. Rounding the bases, I was pretty excited.''
Gallardo overshadowed the formal Bay Area homecoming for Johnson (0-1), who opened his 22nd major league season with seven
strikeouts - giving him 4,796 in his career - in five often-dominant innings. Johnson came within one pitch of striking out
the side in his first inning, and he allowed just four hits - but two were homers by
''I felt bad, because that took the sail out of the fans, I think,'' said Johnson, who got raucous ovations before the game
and after most of his innings. ''(Gallardo) pitched a good ballgame and got the big hit, too. That one at-bat, it gets lost
how good I felt. But it's all a wash. I can't go out and pitch any better.''
stole two bases for San Francisco and hit an RBI single in the seventh when Gallardo tired with two outs, leaving with two
runners on base. Reliever
to dribble a harmless grounder with the bases loaded.
pitched the ninth for his first save, filling in while presumptive closer
starts the season on the disabled list.
At Philadelphia, four Phillies walked with the bases loaded during an eight-run seventh inning to give the World Series champions
their first victory.
hit a two-run homer, helping the Phillies overcome a 10-3 deficit and avoid a three-game sweep on the day they received their
shiny, new rings.
hit two-run homers for the Braves, and
left with a seven-run lead after pitching six effective innings in his first start with his new team.
(0-1) issued two of the bases-loaded walks and got the loss.
(1-0) struck out the only batter he faced to earn the win.
earned his 52nd consecutive save, including seven in the postseason and three dating to 2007 with Houston.
At San Diego,
hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh inning and finished with three RBIs for Los Angeles.
worked six solid innings for the Dodgers and three relievers combined to finish the three-hitter.
struck out two during a scoreless ninth, earning his second save.
(0-1) threw a called strike past Ramirez, who drove the next pitch into right-center to put Los Angeles ahead 4-2.
Billingsley (1-0) gave up two runs and two hits, walked four and struck out four.
drove in four runs apiece to lead Chicago.
had four hits and scored a career-high four runs for the Cubs, who won an opening series for the first time since they took
two of three from the
New York Mets
to begin the 2003 season.
connected for Houston, which finished with five homers.
, Kaz Matsui and
also went deep.
(0-1) allowed seven runs and eight hits in just 1 2-3 innings.
(1-0) gave up five runs and eight hits over five innings.
homered and drove in four runs, and the Mets' rebuilt bullpen barely held on for the win.
The Mets won the season opener 2-1 on a raw, 37-degree afternoon that showcased their offseason bullpen additions of closers
J.J. Putz and
. With temperatures in the 50s on a clear Wednesday evening, the offense took over and Rodriguez pitched out of a bases-loaded
threat in the ninth to avoid a bullpen collapse.
Delgado hit a two-run homer in the first off
(1-0) gave up four runs and five hits in five innings for New York.
At St. Louis,
beat the Cardinals for the first time in nearly three seasons and
went 4-for-5 for his third straight multi-hit game to open the year.
set a franchise record for a Cardinals first baseman with seven assists - the most in the majors at the position since Pittsburgh's
had eight on June 21, 1971.
(0-1) surrendered five runs and 12 hits in five innings for St. Louis.
Duke (1-0) allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings for his first victory over the Cardinals since a complete game
on Aug. 11, 2006.
hit a tiebreaking three-run double and Florida completed the three-game sweep.
The Marlins improved to 3-0 for only the second time. The other was in 1997, when they won the first of two World Series titles.
(1-0) struck out seven, allowing two runs - one earned - and two hits in five innings.
got his first save.
(0-1) allowed five runs and seven hits over six innings for Washington.
homered and Colorado won a series against Arizona for the first time in two years.
(1-0) allowed one run and four hits, struck out six and walked one in six innings for the Rockies. He then was optioned to
Triple-A Colorado Springs to make room for right-hander
, acquired Sunday in a trade with Tampa Bay.
(0-1) gave up four runs and four hits in five innings.