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Estrada walks off Padres to give SF Giants dramatic win in home opener


SAN FRANCISCO — A sellout crowd of 40,645 was treated to a dramatic finish to the first game of the year on the shores of McCovey Cove, beneath blue skies with a brisk breeze blowing out to right field on an otherwise pleasant spring afternoon.

Thairo Estrada raised both arms above his head in celebration as he chugged into second base, turning to watch Matt Chapman race the relay throw from Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim, diving headfirst to just sneak past the tag of catcher Luis Campusano and send the fans home happy.

The Giants walked off the Padres, 3-2, to snap a four-game losing streak and pick up their first one-run win of the season.

Estrada delivered the decisive hit, sending a double into left center field after San Diego reliever Enyel De Los Santos hit Chapman to put the first batter he faced on base.

Making his second start, Jordan Hicks pitched deeper into the game than he had in any previous start, receiving a rousing ovation as he walked off the mound after the top of the seventh inning. Reaching back for his hardest pitch of the afternoon, a 99 mph heater, against his final batter, Hicks limited the Padres to two runs (one earned) on five hits. He struck out five batters and didn’t throw a fourth ball to any of them, finding the strike zone on 61 of his 91 pitches.

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