PHEONIX—The Giants began their 2015 title defense on a high note, winning this week’s opening series with the Diamondbacks 2-1.
All three games were close contests, including Wednesday night’s rubber-match featuring a Giants starting pitcher that had yet to win his first Major League game.
Chris Heston, who failed to notch a victory in three appearances in 2014, pitched six solid innings in an outing that didn’t get off to the smoothest of starts.
The 27-year-old Heston beaned lead-off hitter A.J. Pollock, following the wild pitch with an even wilder pickoff throw that went soaring into right field and advanced the speedy centerfielder to second base.
That error led to Pollock crossing home plate, and another wild pitch scored Arizona’s second run of the game. That run would be the final surrendered by Pollock on the evening, who gave up only five hits in six innings.
“The first inning started to unravel a little bit, kind of a little shaky there,” said Heston. “But I was able settle down and get back into it.”
The Giants lineup, a big question-mark following the departures of Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse and the injury to Hunter Pence, produced 37 hits in three games, rounding-off that total with a 14-hit outing Wednesday night. New addition Nori Aoki provided some nice pop of his own, slashing three hits, including an RBI double off Arizona’s Jeremy Hellickson.
Following their series in Arizona, the Giants traveled to San Diego to take on a resurgent Padres team. San Francisco took a tense game one of the series, one in which Angel Pagan and Padres catcher Derek Norris shared a heated exchange during the Pagan’s ninth-inning at-bat.
Will the tension mount in game two? Will future match ups between the upstart Padres and the defending champs yield fans a new juicy rivalry? Tonight’s game, broadcasting on CSN Bay Area, may yield some intriguing insight to these storylines.