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Milwaukee at San Francisco

Milwaukee (1-1) «010030000452
San Francisco (1-1)010000100260

Brewers' Gallardo hits home run off Big Unit and outpitches him, too

CBSSports.com wire reports

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yovani Gallardo instinctively hacked at the high fastball, not thinking much about the pitching great who had thrown it, and his three-run homer dropped sharply beyond the fence in the left-field corner.

Although Gallardo has been alive only slightly longer than Randy Johnson has been a major league pitcher, the Milwaukee Brewers' promising right-hander started off his season with an achievement even more remarkable than his solid effort on the mound.

He's the first pitcher to hit a home run off the Big Unit in his long career.

Gallardo pitched neatly into the seventh inning while spoiling Johnson's debut with the San Francisco Giants, leading the Brewers to a 4-2 victory Wednesday night.

Gallardo (1-0) insists he'll remember his first victory in nearly 19 months much longer than the historic hit that made it possible. The 23-year-old gave up six hits and struck out six while muzzling a Giants team that scored 10 runs on opening day.

He was thrilled to see his impressive spring reflected in his first real game since early last season, when the second of two serious knee injuries in 2008 sidelined him for the rest of Milwaukee's playoff-bound campaign.

"There were a lot of things going into it, with my first start of the year after I wasn't able to start off with the team last year," Gallardo said. "There was a little bit of anxiousness there. The win, that's obviously the most important for me."

Everybody else will remember the home run. He smacked a two-out, two-strike pitch over the fence in the fifth, providing himself with all the run support he needed.

"Growing up and watching him pitch, he's a great pitcher," Gallardo said of Johnson, the 45-year-old right-hander. "Not very many people get the opportunity to do that. Rounding the bases, I was pretty excited."

After Bill Hall doubled with two outs in the fifth, Johnson walked Jason Kendall to face Gallardo. Although the Brewers understood the move, the dugout pulsed with excitement about Gallardo, known around the spring training cages as an above-average hitter.

"Nobody said anything, but we all kind of knew," said Milwaukee reliever Carlos Villanueva, Gallardo's close friend. "It's not as easy to get him out as you might think. ... That was a bomb. It's not surprising from him. You expect him to hit, but not an absolute bomb."

Although the Brewers lost top starters CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets following their run last fall to their first playoff berth in a quarter-century, Milwaukee might not miss them as much as many expect if Gallardo keeps living up to the considerable promise he showed in 2007 and again this spring.

Gallardo overshadowed the formal Bay Area homecoming for Johnson (0-1), who opened his 22nd major league season with seven strikeouts -- giving him 4,796 in his career -- in five often-dominant innings. Johnson allowed only four hits, but two were home runs by Mike Cameron and Gallardo.

"I felt bad, because that took the sail out of the fans, I think," said Johnson, who got raucous ovations before the game and after most of his innings. "[Gallardo] pitched a good ballgame and got the big hit, too. That one at-bat, it gets lost how good I felt. But it's all a wash. I can't go out and pitch any better."

Randy Winn stole two bases for San Francisco and hit an RBI single in the seventh when Gallardo tired with two outs, leaving with two runners on base. Reliever Todd Coffey got Bengie Molina to dribble a harmless grounder with the bases loaded.

Villanueva pitched the ninth for his first save, filling in while presumptive closer Trevor Hoffman starts the season on the disabled list.

Johnson, who grew up in the East Bay suburb of Livermore, Calif., admittedly signed with the Giants to chase the final five wins necessary to join the 300-victory club, but also to provide veteran leadership to San Francisco's staff.

In his first inning with San Francisco, Johnson came within one pitch of striking out the side. He fanned Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart -- with a changeup -- and had two strikes on Ryan Braun before a harmless fly to center.

He retired Milwaukee's first five hitters, also striking out Prince Fielder, but Cameron then homered to left. Cameron entered the game 2-for-29 with 18 strikeouts in his career against Johnson.

"He threw great, [but] one pitch was the difference in the game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had good stuff. It was just one pitch that he didn't get away with. That kid can swing a bat. We know it."

Before the game, the Giants formally presented the 2008 NL Cy Young Award to Tim Lincecum. Mike McCormick, the only other Giants pitcher to win the award, spoke to the crowd before Lincecum made a brief speech.

"Lastly and always, I just want to thank my dad," said Lincecum, who lasted only a career-low three innings while getting no decision in the opener Tuesday.


  • Johnson is the oldest pitcher to start a game for the Giants, surpassing Warren Spahn, who was 44 at the end of his career in 1965. Johnson is their oldest player since 49-year-old Arlie Latham played four games for the New York Giants in 1909.
  • Recently released Giants OF Dave Roberts was in the park in his new role as a member of the media, working on broadcasts in the Bay Area and San Diego.
  • Gallardo made his major league debut against the Giants on June 18, 2007. He hit his first two career home runs in August 2007 near the close of his solid rookie season.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Randy Johnson's debut with the Giants goes well until Yovani Gallardo's home run in the fifth inning.  (AP)
Randy Johnson's debut with the Giants goes well until Yovani Gallardo's home run in the fifth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game

Y. Gallardo
IP 6.2
H 6
ER 2
BB 2
K 6
San Francisco

A. Rowand
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B3000020 .333
Corey Hart, RF4000011 .111
Ryan Braun, LF4020001 .500
Prince Fielder, 1B4000021 .250
J.J. Hardy, SS4000011 .000
Mike Cameron, CF3111100 .500
Bill Hall, 3B3110010 .286
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
   a- Brad Nelson, PH1000001 .000
    Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .000
Jason Kendall, C2100100 .000
Yovani Gallardo, P2113010 .500
    Mitch Stetter, P0000000 .000
    Casey McGehee, 3B1000000 .000
a-grounded out for Coffey in the 9th
2B - Ryan Braun 2 (2, R. Johnson, Valdez), Bill Hall (2, R. Johnson)
HR - Mike Cameron (1, R. Johnson), Yovani Gallardo (1, R. Johnson)
RBI - Mike Cameron (2), Yovani Gallardo 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Cameron (2), Yovani Gallardo 3 (3)
CS - Ryan Braun (1, 3rd base by R. Johnson/Molina)
Team LOB - 3
DP - Hardy-Weeks-Fielder
E - Jason Kendall (1, Throwing), Rickie Weeks (1, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
Yovani Gallardo (W,1-0) 6.2622260 2.70
Mitch Stetter0000100 0.00
Todd Coffey (H,1) 1.1000010 0.00
Carlos Villanueva (S,1) 1000020 0.00
HBP - Lewis (by Yovani Gallardo)
WP - Mitch Stetter (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Yovani Gallardo 103-67, Mitch Stetter 5-1, Todd Coffey 15-11, Carlos Villanueva 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yovani Gallardo 10-4, Todd Coffey 3-0
Batters Faced - Yovani Gallardo 29, Mitch Stetter 1, Todd Coffey 4, Carlos Villanueva 3
San Francisco Giants
Randy Winn, RF4011120 .286
Edgar Renteria, SS3000111 .143
Fred Lewis, LF2010110 .333
Bengie Molina, C4010004 .333
Pablo Sandoval, 3B4000011 .250
Travis Ishikawa, 1B4110003 .333
Aaron Rowand, CF4120022 .571
Emmanuel Burriss, 2B4001003 .000
Randy Johnson, P1000011 .000
   a- Nate Schierholtz, PH1000000 .000
    Merkin Valdez, P0000000 .000
   b- Rich Aurilia, PH1000001 .000
    Brandon Medders, P0000000 .000
    Alex Hinshaw, P0000000 .000
   c- Andres Torres, PH1000010 .000
a-grounded out for R. Johnson in the 5th
b-grounded out for Valdez in the 7th
c-struck out for Hinshaw in the 9th
2B - Aaron Rowand 2 (3, Gallardo, Gallardo)
RBI - Randy Winn (3), Emmanuel Burriss (2)
2-OUT RBI - Randy Winn (1)
SB - Randy Winn 2 (2, 3rd base off Gallardo/Kendall, 2nd base off Gallardo/Kendall)
Team LOB - 8
San Francisco Giants
Randy Johnson (L,0-1) 5444172 7.20
Merkin Valdez 2100010 0.00
Brandon Medders 1000000 0.00
Alex Hinshaw 1000100 5.40
IBB - Kendall by Randy Johnson
HBP - Weeks (by Brandon Medders)
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 84-54, Merkin Valdez 16-11, Brandon Medders 11-7, Alex Hinshaw 18-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 1-6, Merkin Valdez 2-3, Brandon Medders 1-2, Alex Hinshaw 1-2
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 19, Merkin Valdez 7, Brandon Medders 4, Alex Hinshaw 4
Game Information
Attendance - 40764
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 55
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Dana DeMuth