PHOENIX -- As the Giants broke camp last week and headed home, Bruce Bochy made a point of complimenting a lineup that he insisted would be more resilient this season.
It took the Giants just one game to make their manager look prescient.
The Giants were sloppy and uninspiring through six innings at Chase Field, but a seventh-inning rally set the stage for Buster Posey's late heroics. The former N.L. MVP hit a majestic two-run home run in the ninth, capping a 9-8 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The four-run comeback was the Giants' largest on opening day since 1968.
"We want to be a team that keeps grinding and keeps pushing," Posey said. "It was nice to be able to do that tonight, right out of the chute."
Technically, the Giants were a mess right out of the chute.
Diamondbacks right-hander Brandon McCarthy struck out the side in the first inning, and his counterpart, Madison Bumgarner, lasted just four innings in his first major league opening day start. Bumgarner's short outing came mostly because the Giants kicked the ball around in a fourth inning that cost the left-hander four unearned runs and 27 pitches. When his spot came up with two runners on in the fifth, Bumgarner was pulled for a pinch hitter. He threw just 78 pitches.
"That wasn't quite the way I drew it up," he said.
The picture didn't get any easier to look at once Bumgarner was lifted. The Diamondbacks scored two more in the fifth and one in the sixth as the Giants made a series of mental and physical errors. The final straw came in the sixth when Yusmeiro Petit caught Paul Goldschmidt leaning at first base. Stuck in a rundown, the Diamondbacks slugger ended up safe at second when Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford nearly ran into each other.
Goldschmidt scored to put Arizona up 7-3. In the dugout, the Giants wore a collection of stunned faces. Bochy rubbed his temples and looked out at his lethargic team in disbelief.
"I looked at (bench coach Ron Wotus) and said, 'Can we start spring training over?' " Bochy said, smiling.
A roster that was so sharp defensively over seven weeks in the desert never did quite figure it out on that end Monday. Instead, the Giants just made up for their defensive miscues at the plate, rallying for four runs in the top of the seventh to reset the score at 7-all. The Giants had five straight two-out hits, including a pinch-hit double by Ehire Adrianza and a check-swing flare to center by Pablo Sandoval. Hunter Pence's bases-loaded walk tied the game.
"You have to go hard for nine innings and these guys did," Bochy said. "It got contagious."
Jean Machi kept the Diamondbacks at bay, allowing for one last rally. Belt, the spark plug, had gone through a longer, more emotionally draining day than any Giant. The first baseman struck out in his first two at-bats, made an error in the fourth inning, came up inches short on several other grounders to the right side and couldn't complete the rundown in the sixth.
But Belt, who looks poised for an offensive breakout, also homered in the top of the sixth and singled during the seventh-inning rally. With one out in the ninth, he singled off new Diamondbacks closer Addison Reed. Two batters later, Posey crushed a Reed fastball off the facing of the second deck.
Sergio Romo gave up a solo homer to Miguel Montero in the bottom of the inning but held on for the save with the tying run on second.
"That was a lot of fun out there," Belt said. "It would have been pretty easy to put your head down and accept what happened early, but we didn't. We pushed through it."
As Bochy addressed the media during batting practice, Lincecum burst onto the field. "I just saw Timmy jump up the steps," Bochy said, smiling. "He's doing all right."
Giants (Matt Cain, 8-10 in 2013) at Arizona (Wade Miley, 0-1 this season), 6:40 p.m. CSNBA