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Giants v. Cardinals, MLB Scores: Aaron Rowand's Game Winner Lifts Giants 5-4 in Twelfth Inning

The San Francisco Giants home opener at AT&T Park started off with a bang as the team celebrated last year’s success by raising their 2010 World Championship banner, while the fans were in for another treat as the St. Louis Cardinals forced the champs into extra innings.

And after leaving the bases loaded in the 11th, the Giants loaded them again in the 12th for Aaron Rowand to hit the game winning shot to deep center field for the 5-4 win against the Cardinals. It was an exciting and dare say torturous way to get the win, but it shouldn’t have even gotten passed the 9th in the first place.

Brian Wilson came out to close out the 9th, but ended up loading the bases, and with two outs allowed a 2 run single by Ryan Theriot after a 15 pitch at bat. Aaron Rowand hit a single with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, followed by a Buster Posey walk. Pablo Sandoval’s single brought up Rowand for the tying run, leading to extra innings.

Jonathan Sanchez had a decent outing for the Giants home opener, but I’m sure he would have liked to last longer. Sanchez went for only 5 innings, allowing 4 hits, an earned run, two walks and seven strikeouts. He did do a lot of work in those innings though, throwing 94 pitches in that span. Guillermo Mota pitched a perfect 6th for the Giants, Jeremy Affeldt took care of business in the 7th, but allowed the Cardinals second run in the 8th that Sergio Romo eventually cleaned up. After Brian Wilson’s blown save, Ramon Ramirez, Javier Lopez, and Dan Runzler came in for the rest of the game, allowing no hits or runs in 3 1/3 innings of combined work; Runzler (1-1) was the winning pitcher for the game.

Miguel Tejada made his first hit in a Giants uniform at AT&T Park a good one, smashing a home run to left center field to kick off the third inning, followed by RBI double from Freddy Sanchez scoring Jonathan Sanchez after he smoked a double as well. Pat Burrell hit his third of the season in the 6th for the Giants third and final run of the game while Brandon Belt was 1-4 with a double, his first major league hit at AT&T park. Andres Torres was 2-6 with a double, Aubrey Huff was 1-4 while Buster Posey was 0-3 with 3 walks.

As for the Cardinals, Jake Westbrook went for 5 2/3 innings, throwing 108 pitches with 8 hits, 3 earned runs, and 4 walks compared to just 2 strikeouts; he also had a throwing error on the day. Out of the Cardinals 8 hits only David Freese’s double was hot for extra bases; Albert Pujols went 1-6 for the day with a single and a stolen base. Brian Tallet (0-1) got the loss for the Cardinals.

Full box score can be found here.

The Giants will have their World Championship ring ceremony before tomorrow night’s game against the Cardinals, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

For more discussion and analysis of everything Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles to get your fix.