A banner day for Giants

Champs raise flag, then drop Cardinals in 12th

Associated Press / April 9, 2011

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Aaron Rowand hit the winning single off the left-field wall with the bases loaded in the 12th inning as the Giants celebrated raising the World Series flag with a 5-4 victory over St. Louis yesterday in San Francisco.

First baseman Albert Pujols dropped what would have been an inning-ending grounder by Andres Torres with two outs in the 12th. Torres reached on the error and advanced to second on defensive indifference. Brian Tallet (0-1), the sixth Cardinals pitcher, intentionally walked Freddy Sanchez to load the bases. Rowand then drove a pitch to deep left-center, capping a long, festive home opener that lasted 4 hours 24 minutes.

The Cardinals rallied in the ninth on Ryan Theriot’s two-run, two-out single against 2010 majors saves leader Brian Wilson, who was replaced by Ramon Ramirez.

Rays 9, White Sox 7 — Dan Johnson hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run ninth as visiting Tampa Bay rallied for its first win hours after Manny Ramirez retired.

Trailing 7-4, Elliot Johnson led off with a single and scored from second with one out when shortstop Alexei Ramirez threw wildly to first after fielding Sam Fuld’s grounder. Juan Pierre then dropped Johnny Damon’s fly to left, putting runners on first and second, before B.J. Upton delivered an RBI single to left to make it a one-run game.

Dan Johnson then drove the first pitch out to right to make it 9-7.

Tigers 5, Royals 2 — Victor Martinez hit a three-run double in his first home at-bat for Detroit, Jhonny Peralta drove in two runs, and the Tigers looked sharp after losing 4 of 6 to start the season.

Martinez, the former Red Sox catcher and first baseman who signed with Detroit in November, cleared the bases in the first inning with a drive to right-center.

Indians 12, Mariners 3 — Travis Hafner had an RBI single and hit a three-run homer that nearly reached the third-deck of seats as part of Cleveland’s 10-run fourth inning, and the visiting Indians won their fifth straight.

Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco (1-1) gave up one run and four hits in six innings.

Twins 2, Athletics 1 — Joe Mauer and Denard Span delivered RBI singles in the eighth inning against Brett Anderson to lift Minnesota in its home opener.

Braves 6, Phillies 3 — Chipper Jones hit a go-ahead three-run double in the fourth off Philadelphia starter Cliff Lee, who couldn’t hold a 3-0 lead, as Atlanta rallied to win its home opener.

Pirates 4, Rockies 3 — Jose Tabata’s RBI double off the right-field wall with two outs in the 14th inning scored Josh Rodriguez from first and sent host Pittsburgh to a victory over Colorado, which used eight pitchers.

Nationals 6, Mets 2 — Jordan Zimmermann spoiled New York’s 50th home opener with his bat and arm, hitting a two-run single and pitching Washington to a victory.

Blue Jays 3, Angels 2 — Adam Lind hit a tying two-run double in the sixth and Jayson Nix hit a tiebreaking two-out homer in the eighth as Toronto spoiled Los Angeles’s home opener.

Marlins 4, Astros 3 — Chris Coghlan homered and drove in two runs and Ricky Nolasco allowed two runs in eight innings as Florida spoiled Houston’s home opener.

Cubs 7, Brewers 4 — Jeff Baker had four hits and drove in four runs, including his first homer of the season, and Carlos Zambrano went six innings, giving up four runs with five strikeouts, to lift Chicago at Milwaukee.

Diamondbacks 13, Reds 2 — Ian Kennedy struck out nine in eight dominant innings and Arizona hit three late-inning homers in the Diamondbacks’ home opener.

The Rangers-Orioles game in Baltimore Orioles was postponed by rain. The teams will play a traditional doubleheader today starting at 4:30 p.m.

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