PHOENIX – The San Francisco Giants were kicking the ball around so badly Monday night that manager Bruce Bochy wanted to start spring training over again.
Then the Giants’ bats came alive, Arizona’s bullpen wilted, and San Francisco rallied from four runs down to beat the Diamondbacks 9-8 on Buster Posey’s two-run home run off new closer Addison Reed in the ninth inning.
“I think we want to be a team that keeps grinding and keeps pushing,” Posey said. “It was nice to be able to do that tonight right out of the chute to give us that confidence that when we get down we know we have the ability to come back.”
Posey’s star turn didn’t surprise Giants starter Madison Bumgarner, who left after giving up four unearned runs in four innings.
“He’s on a different level, man,” Bumgarner said. “He’s so good and he’s been that good since day one. It’s fun to watch him play every day.”
Posey had no experience against Reed, who came to the Diamondbacks in an offseason trade from the Chicago White Sox.
“I’ve never faced him before, spring training or anything,” Posey said. “I was really just trying to get a pitch I can handle.”
He got it on a fastball that he sent over the left field wall.
“For us to come back and win a game like that, it just shows you, you go hard for nine innings,” Bochy said. “These guys did and got some big hits later in the game. It seemed like it got contagious, then Buster came through for us in a big way.”
It was the season opener for San Francisco and the first true home game for the Diamondbacks, who started the season with two losses as the home team against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Australia.
Miguel Montero, who had three hits and reached base five times, homered to lead off the Arizona ninth and make it a one-run game.
Brandon Belt had three hits, including a solo home run, and singled ahead of Posey’s homer.
Arizona scored four unearned runs off Bumgarner in the fourth and led 7-3 after six. San Francisco got four runs with two outs in the seventh, with reliever Brad Ziegler walking in the tying run.
Brewers 2, Braves 0
In Milwaukee, Brewers star Ryan Braun drew a standing ovation in his return from a drug suspension, then was ruled out in the first call overturned under baseball’s expanded replay system as the Brewers blanked Atlanta.
Cardinals 1, Reds 0
In Cincinnati, Yadier Molina’s homer broke a seventh-inning tie, leading St. Louis to a victory over the Reds.
Adam Wainwright (1-0) used his refined sinker to finally get the best of Cincinnati, who have hit him like no other team. Wainwright allowed three hits in seven innings, fanning nine.
Pirates 1, Cubs 0 (10)
In Pittsburgh, Neil Walker homered off Carlos Villanueva leading off the 10th inning, and the Pirates benefited from an overturned to call to beat Chicago on opening day.
Reliever Bryan Morris (1-0) won with the help of an overturned pickoff call in the top of the 10th under Major League Baseball’s new replay system. Starter Francisco Liriano and four relievers combined for 11 strikeouts.
Marlins 10, Rockies 1
In Miami, Jose Fernandez struck out nine and allowed one run in six innings, and Marlins newcomer Casey McGehee drove in four runs with two doubles to help Miami beat the Rockies.
The sellout crowd of 37,116 was the largest yet at Marlins Park, which opened two years ago.
The 21-year-old Fernandez earned the victory while becoming the youngest NL opening day starter since Dwight Gooden in 1986, according to STATS.
Nationals 9, Mets 7 (10)
In New York, Anthony Rendon hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning and drove in a career-high four runs, twice rallying the Nationals against the Mets’ suspect bullpen for an opening day victory.
Denard Span hit a tying double with two outs in the ninth off closer Bobby Parnell, and Ian Desmond put Washington in front for the first time with a sacrifice fly in the 10th.
Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 over six innings in his third straight opening day start.
INTERLEAGUE Phillies 14, Rangers 10
In Arlington, Texas, Jimmy Rollins hit a grand slam and pinch hitter John Mayberry Jr. had a two-run double that put Philadelphia ahead in a wild opening victory over Texas.