It turned out Sean Burroughs got the save in the long-awaited
opener of Petco Park.
Burroughs hit an opposite-field RBI single with two outs in the
10th inning that dropped in front of Bonds in left field to give
the Padres a wild 4-3 win Thursday night.
Bonds, who normally hits well against the Padres, went 0-for-4
with an intentional walk and remained on hold with 659 home runs,
one behind his godfather, Willie Mays, for third place on the
Wells pitched great in his Padres' debut, but Hoffman blew his
first save opportunity since September 2002, forcing San Diego to
go extra innings to win it.
Burroughs' third run-scoring hit of the night came one batter
after pinch-hitter Miguel Ojeda hit an RBI double to tie it at 3.
Rookie Khalil Greene scored the winning run, his third of the
night, after going 3-for-3 with two walks.
Burroughs had sent the game into extra innings when he singled
in Greene in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 2.
"It was like out of a fictional novel, almost," said
Burroughs, whose winning hit came off David Aardsma. "Opening
night, it's been anticipated for so many years, full house, Bonds
almost hits a homer to tie. There were some things that went on in
this game that I think we're never going to forget."
The ballpark was approved by voters in November 1998, but its
opening was delayed for two years by legal problems.
He came up big again after Marquis Grissom homered leading off
the 10th inning to give San Francisco a 3-2 lead.
Wells, who grew up a few miles away in gritty Ocean Beach,
retired Bonds the first three times he faced him, although fans
held their breath when Bonds hit a sixth-inning drive to center
field that Jay Payton caught at the top of the fence. Replays were
inconclusive whether Payton's catch saved a homer.
Payton wasn't sure if the ball would have gone out.
"Right place, right time, really," said Payton, another Padres
"I don't know," Bonds said when asked if he thought it was
One out away from saving what would have been a win for the
40-year-old Wells, Hoffman allowed a two-run double by Ray Durham
to blow his first save chance since September 2002.
Hoffman, who missed most of 2003 after undergoing double
shoulder surgery, came on to his usual fanfare of AC/DC's "Hells
Bells" blaring from the speakers in the ninth. But Hoffman, fifth
on the all-time saves list with 352, allowed singles on his first
two pitches. Pedro Feliz was thrown out trying to score on A.J.
Pierzynski's grounder to shortstop, but Durham then drove Hoffman's
next pitch into the left-center field gap for a 2-1 lead.
"Two hits before I knew it," Hoffman said. "A couple of
fastballs, bad location. I thought we got the last out there with a
pop fly, and it ended up going in the gap."
Matt Herges (0-1) and Aardsma each blew saves for the Giants.
Eddie Oropesa (1-1) got the win.
"It was an unbelievable game," Aardsma said.
Thursday night was the first time Wells, who has two World
Series rings and a perfect game, faced Bonds, baseball's only
six-time MVP, in a regular-season game.
With camera flashes going off around the $458 million ballpark,
Wells threw the first pitch at 7:07 p.m. PDT, a strike to Ray
After retiring the side in the first, Wells got Bonds to pop up
to third baseman Burroughs on a 3-2 pitch leading off the second.
With a runner on and none out in the fourth, Bonds swung at a high
pitch and hit a dribbler that second baseman Mark Loretta scooped
up for the out.
The first hit at Petco was a single to right-center by the
Padres' Brian Giles, who's also from the San Diego area.
Burroughs had the first RBI with a ground-rule double in the
third, with Greene scoring the first run.
Wells, signed as a free agent on Dec. 31, allowed four hits in
seven scoreless innings, walked one and struck out none.
Dustin Hermanson allowed one run and five hits in six innings,
struck out three and walked one.
Wearing a Padres cap, former president Jimmy Carter threw
out a ceremonial pitch, to his friend, Padres owner John Moores.
Carter pumped his fist after Moores caught it. ... Commissioner Bud
Selig was booed when he was introduced before throwing a ceremonial
pitch to former Padres great Tony Gwynn.