"I thought overall we pitched well and the bullpen did a great job," Manager Bruce Bochy said.
The winning run scored on a ground out to third by Jay Payton. Brian Giles, leaving third on contact, did not beat the throw home, but he did elude the tag of AJ Pierzynski by contorting his body ever so handily as his leg touched down on the plate before the tag could be applied. It was the fifth run of the night for the Friars as they went on to win 6-4 in their second game at Petco Park.
"The throw to the plate from third base, that was a key," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "If it's on line and he's out, it's a different ballgame."
The Giants scored four runs off Brian Lawrence in the third. The inning started with a hit batsmen and escalated from there. Two walks loaded the bases. AJ Pierzynski singled in a run, Edgardo Alfonzo drew a bases loaded walk and Marquis Grissom singled in two to put the Giants up 4-1.
The Padres got first blood on Saturday when Ramon Hernandez snaked a hopper through the middle of the field to drive in Phil Nevin. Nevin opened the inning with a lined shot off the wrist of Kirk Rueter that fell to the third base side and went for an infield hit. After a walk, Hernandez added his RBI single.
Ryan Klesko hit a sac fly to drive in Nevin in the fourth. Nevin had doubled off the right-centerfield wall, just missing a homer and Payton had singled him to third. After Hernandez grounded out, Khalil Greene had an RBI single to drive in Payton. Lawrence followed with a bloop single over short and Burroughs singled in Greene to tie the game at 4-4.
The crowd was animated as the game wore on and several players took notice.
"This crowd and the people involved in this place, it's like night and day between here and Qualcomm [Stadium] in those last couple innings," Phil Nevin said. "I'll be honest with you: I think we lose both games if we're not here."
When Hells Bells came on the place erupted. Although the save wasn’t a thing of beauty, Trevor Hoffman earned his first save since September of 2002. He ran his Padres career record save total to 353, the most saves for one team in baseball history.
Of the 12 ballparks to be opened since 1994, only three have seen their home team win it’s first two games at the park... and the Padres became the fourth on Saturday.
Padres’ starters are now batting .455 (5-for-11) with three doubles and three runs scored.
Brian Lawrence has never defeated the Giants in seven career starts.
Giants entered 2004 having won the last five season series by a combined 56-25 mark, including a 42-15 record over the last three years.
April of 2002 was the last time they won a series in San Diego against the Giants, until this weekend. The last time they swept a series against San Fran in San Diego was 1991.