Giants, Brewers make history with lineups

Pitchers Bumgarner, Peralta bat 8th, a first for Opening Day

April 4th, 2016

MILWAUKEE -- The Giants and Brewers dispensed with tradition and embraced experimentation in Monday's 12-3 San Francisco victory, as they became the first pair of teams to have their pitchers bat eighth on Opening Day.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy hinted during Spring Training that he might construct his lineup to give the Giants essentially two leadoff hitters potentially batting back-to-back after the first inning: Denard Span, the actual leadoff man, and Angel Pagan, who occupied the top of the order until Span joined the team during the offseason as a free agent.

Bochy reasoned the combination of Pagan and Span will add a fresh dimension to the Giants' offense.

"The more I see it, the more I like it," Bochy said. "Really, it couldn't have worked out better today."

The strategy worked for the Giants in the third inning, when Pagan walked, stole second base and scored on Span's single. It paid off again in the fourth as left-hander Madison Bumgarner, elevated to eighth in the order, drew a one-out walk, moved to third on Pagan's double and scored on Span's sacrifice fly.

Though the Brewers couldn't capitalize on the wrinkle as much as the Giants did through the early innings, manager Craig Counsell hinted this wouldn't be the last time he'd bat center fielder Keon Broxton ninth and right fielder Domingo Santana first.

"It's a function of Keon," said Counsell, who will probably use a more standard alignment when Ramon Flores or Kirk Nieuwenhuis starts in center field. "It puts Keon in a good place to be successful -- take advantage of Keon's skills and give him a chance to be successful."