SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Brandon Belt rode into the ballpark on a trailer boat wearing his signature captain’s hat while tossing baseballs into the stands in a festive pregame scene. He threw the ceremonial first pitch, then threw an insurance home run a few hours later in the eighth inning.
His San Francisco Giants held on to save opening day as fans hugged and clapped in relief.
READ MORE: Front Street Animal Shelter offering free dog adoptions
Austin Slater doubled with two outs in the 10th inning for his first career RBI, sending the Giants past the Miami Marlins 6-5 on Friday.
“It was pretty crazy, almost like a little blurry,” Belt said.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) April 9, 2022
Thairo Estrada hit an tying home run to start the bottom of the ninth against Anthony Bender. Then Slater won against Anthony Bass (0-1), scoring Darin Ruf. It was San Francisco’s first opening day victory since defeating the Padres on April 6, 1987 at Candlestick Park.
Jazz Chisholm Jr. gave Miami the lead on a two-run homer with one out in the top of the ninth as the Marlins capitalized against the San Francisco bullpen once Logan Webb left the game.
Jacob Stallings homered in the eighth and delivered an RBI single in the ninth closer to Camilo Doval to power Miami’s rally. Tight losses are nothing new for these Marlins: Their 29 one-point losses in 2021 tied a franchise record, also achieved in 1998 and 2014.
José Álvarez (1-0) recorded the final on the 10th.
After Joey Wendle walked to start the seventh and Webb came out, Stallings hosted Dominic Leone with a two-point drive.
Rookie catcher Joey Bart also homered, his first in the majors, to back up Webb’s latest impressive performance.
“That was cool. He did so well out there today. I’m so excited for him,” Webb said. “I kind of grabbed him before the game and was like, ‘ Hey, let’s do something special.’ He’s a special guy and a special player.
Webb allowed five hits, struck out three and walked one, leaving a standing ovation in the seventh to wrap up his first career start. Bart got the nod behind manager Gabe Kapler’s plate. The receiver was the second overall pick in the 2018 draft.
Webb, 11-0 in 23 starts since losing May 5 at Colorado, became the No. 1 starter for the defending NL West champions Giants. At 25 years and 141 days, the right-hander became the Giants’ youngest pitcher to start Opening Day as Madison Bumgarner was 24 years and 242 days old in 2014.
READ MORE: 18-year-old killed in shooting at Airbnb party in Elk Grove
“Logan owned the mound like he did for four months last year,” Kapler said.
San Francisco won a franchise-record 107 games last season to edge out the division rival Dodgers only to lose to Los Angels in a thrilling five-game NL Division series. They have played this series without their emotional leader, Belt, after he broke his left thumb when he was hit by a squared pitch for bunt on Sept. 26 in Colorado.
Belt, who turns 34 on April 20, batted .274 with a career-high 29 home runs and 59 RBIs, then signed a one-year, $18 million contract for 2022.
Belt and shortstop Brandon Crawford each made their 11th career opener, tying Robby Thompson for most in San Francisco history.
Crawford could do without seeing his buddy again on a boat.
“I never want to see him,” Crawford said with a smile.
Belt and Ruf hit RBI singles in the third against Sandy Alcántara. The right-hander started his third career opener and became just the third pitcher in Marlins history to start three consecutive openers – joining Josh Johnson (2010-2012) and Josh Beckett (2003- 05).
Alcantara struck out four and walked five in five innings. He is 0-2 lifetime against the Giants in six appearances and five starts.
Marlins: LHP Sean Guenther underwent Tommy John surgery Thursday in Los Angeles, performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. … INF José Devers was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder impingement syndrome. RHP Dylan Floro also went on the injured list with right rotator cuff tendonitis. He threw a bullpen session of 25 pitches.
Giants: INF Tommy La Stella went on the 10-day injured list with an inflamed right Achilles tendon, a move retroactive to Monday. INF Evan Longoria, working after right hand surgery, also went on the IL retroactive to Monday. He worked by taking soil balls from a machine. OF LaMonte Wade Jr. was placed on the IL with left knee inflammation retroactive to Monday.
NO MORE NEWS: 1 person died in the Rosemont accident, victim identified
RHP Pablo López pitches Saturday for the Marlins against LHP Carlos Rodón who is making his Giants debut. He received a two-year, $44 million contract from San Francisco last month.