Margot, Solarte power Padres past Giants

Margot, Solarte power Padres past Giants

SAN DIEGO -- Manuel Margot made sure his first home opener at Petco Park was a memorable one. Yangervis Solarte made sure it was victorious for the Padres.

Margot homered in each of his first two at-bats, and Solarte ripped a go-ahead double in the seventh, sending San Diego to a 7-6 victory Friday. The Giants -- who took the lead on the first of two Brandon Belt home runs -- have now lost eight leads through their first five games.

Belt's first career grand slam put San Francisco on top in the sixth. But Solarte, who finished with three hits and four RBIs, gave the Padres the lead with a two-run double off Giants reliever George Kontos.

Margot, the Padres' top prospect, became the first rookie with multiple dingers in a Padres home opener. His first long ball also marked the first leadoff home run ever on Opening Day at Petco Park.

"It's fun to see any time you see a kid hit his first home run," said Padres manager Andy Green. "That's a moment the rest of their life they're going to hang onto."

The Giants squandered leads of 1-0 and 5-4.

"Not to make excuses, but it is the first week of the season. Everyone's kind of getting their feet under them," Kontos said. "As a staff, we have to start bearing down and make quality pitches as often as we should be making them."

Giants starter Matt Cain wasn't involved in the decision, but he yielded four runs and six hiits in 4 1/3 innings.

"We need to tighten it up a little bit as far as making some pitches," Cain said.

Balk this way: The Giants got on the board first after Joe Panik opened the game with a double to the left-center-field gap. He advanced to third on Aaron Hill's flyout and scored when Padres starter Luis Perdomo twitched before coming set and was ruled to have balked. Perdomo -- who allowed five runs over 5 1/3 -- settled in a bit after that. The Giants wouldn't hit a ball out of the infield until Brandon Crawford's two-out single in the fourth.

Panik scores on a balk

Up in the air: Nobody in the National League induced ground balls at a higher rate than Perdomo last season. Nobody in the Majors hit ground balls at a lower clip than Belt. When it mattered most on Friday, Belt won out. The Giants first baseman launched his first career grand slam in the sixth inning, quieting a sellout crowd and temporarily giving San Francisco a 5-4 lead. Belt would homer again in the eighth off Padres reliever Ryan Buchter, cutting the deficit to 1. More >

Giants win challenge

Fresh squeezed: After Solarte's double, the Padres tacked on a pivotal insurance run courtesy of a still-hitless Austin Hedges. The Padres' catcher dropped a perfect squeeze bunt up the first-base line. Solarte -- who advanced to third on Hunter Renfroe's flyout -- broke for home the moment the ball hit the dirt, and he scored easily. That run would prove to be the difference.

"That's what we're going to have to do to win this year," Hedges said. "We have to play small ball. We're going to move guys over, we're going to pitch and play defense. Anything I can do to help the team win, I'm glad to do."

Initially, Hedges was ruled safe at first base. But replay showed that Kontos' throw -- and an athletic grab by second baseman Panik, who was covering -- beat him to the bag.

"Perdomo Opening Day last year was expecting to give up [runs]. Perdomo this year was shocked when he gave up those runs. He's angry that he gave up those runs. That's a drastic change in who he is as a competitor on the mound." -- Green on Perdomo, who debuted last year on Opening Day

Carmelo Martinez is the only other player in Padres history with multiple home runs during the team's home opener. Martinez went deep twice on April 15, 1985 -- also against the Giants. Meanwhile, Margot became the fourth youngest Padre ever to hit two home runs in the same game. Cesar Crespo holds the distinction as the youngest, having done so on Sept. 24, 2001, at 22 years, 124 days old.

Giants: Left-hander Madison Bumgarner, looking for his first victory of the season, will take the ball for San Francisco on Saturday. Bumgarner has been saying more often than not that he feels as good as he ever has, which is something given his perfectionist tendencies. Game time is 5:40 p.m. PT.

Padres: Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin is looking to bounce back from a rough Opening Day in which he allowed a career-high nine runs to the Dodgers. Expect Chacin to continue to pound his best pitch, a slider, against the Giants on Saturday. First pitch is slated for 5:40 p.m. PT.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.