Freddy Sanchez and Buster Posey had consecutive run-scoring hits off Cliff Lee, leaving the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers tied 2-all after three innings in Wednesday night's World Series opener.
Vladimir Guerrero's run-scoring infield single and Elvis Andrus' sacrifice fly in the second gave Texas a 2-0 lead against Tim Lincecum.
Lee lacked the biting curve and precise control that allowed him to dominate in the AL playoffs, and a 32-pitch third inning got his pitch count up to 60.
San Francisco, meanwhile, played nervously and made a pair of mental errors, with Lincecum botching a rundown and Sanchez getting doubled up at second on a popup down the right-field line.
In the second straight year the Series began with a matchup of Cy Young Award winners, Lee faced Lincecum in what most would consider a pairing of unlikely pennant winners. Lee entered 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in eight postseason starts.
Barry Bonds, a victory shy of leading the Giants to the World Series title in 2002, visited San Francisco's clubhouse before the game.
Willie Mays, who was to be among the Hall of Famers throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, was sick and missed the game. Orlando Cepeda, Monte Irvin, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey and Gaylord Perry went on without the Say Hey Kid.
Andrus opened with a single to left that extended his postseason hitting streak to 12 games. Michael Young walked and Josh Hamilton advanced the runners with a grounder to first.
Guerrero hit a one-hop smash that ricocheted off Lincecum's left knee to the dirt between first and second for a single that allowed Andrus to score.
After Lincecum was checked by manager Bruce Bochy and head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner, Nelson Cruz hit a roller up the third base line that was fielded by the pitcher, who ran at Young between third and home. Lincecum then brain-locked, allowing Young to get back to third without a throw and leaving the bases loaded on the fielder's choice.
But the Giants escaped without more damage when Ian Kinsler grounded sharply to Juan Uribe, who stepped on third and threw to first for an inning-ending double play — with a slick scoop by first baseman Aubrey Huff.
Sanchez doubled to short right with one out in the bottom half and Posey hit a popup toward the right-field line. Kinsler ran it down from his spot at second base but Sanchez took off running, thinking it would drop. He was easily doubled up.
Bengie Molina — who began the year in San Francisco — singled to right leading off the second. Lee bunted a ball foul with one out, took a pitch and followed with a butcher-boy, opposite-field double that rolled to the warning track in left-center — he also doubled for Philadelphia in last year's Series.
Andrus hit a sacrifice fly to center, with the slow-footed Molina scoring easily ahead of Andres Torres' throw up the first-base line for a 2-0 lead as Lee went to third. Young hit an inning-ending flyout.
Edgar Renteria's leadoff grounder kicked off Young's glove at third for an error leading off the third and, after Lincecum popped out on a bunt, Lee hit Torres on an arm with a pitch — the first postseason hit batter for Lee. Sanchez doubled to left — just by a leaping Young — and Posey singled to center before Lee recovered by throwing called third strikes past Pat Burrell and Cody Ross.
This was the first Series opener at the NL ballpark since 2001, and 11 of the last 13 teams to win Game 1 have gone on to win the championship. And it was played 21 years to the day the earthquake-interrupted World Series resumed about 6½ miles south at Candlestick Park.
Matt Cain starts Game 2 for the Giants on Thursday — weather permitting — against C.J. Wilson before the series shifts to Arlington, Texas, for the third game on Saturday night.
Renel Brooks-Moon became likely the first female public-address announcer to introduce players before a World Series opener, and the smell of garlic fries filled the stands as fans shook orange pompoms.
On a cool, overcast evening, it was the first World Series game in the 50-season history of the Rangers/expansion Washington Senators franchise. And it was the first Series opener in San Francisco since 1962 at Candlestick Park, when the Yankees' Whitey Ford pitched a 10-hitter to beat Billy O'Dell 6-2.
Fans filled the 11-season-old stadium in Halloween orange-and-back, the Giants' colors since their days in New York. While World Series champions in 1905, 1921, 1922, 1933 and 1954, they haven't won since Horace Stoneham moved the team out of the Polo Grounds and headed West after the 1957 season.
They won NL pennants only to lose in the Series in 1962, 1989 and 2002. The latter was played at Pacific Bell Park, which was renamed SBC Park in 2004 and adopted its present name, AT&T Park, in 2006.
From the cable cars climbing from Fisherman's Wharf to Nob Hill, to the majestic Golden Gate Bridge to the boats and kayaks in McCovey Cove beyond the right-field fence, the City by the Bay was filled with World Series excitement. Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill was bathed in an orange glow rather than its usual white light. Fitting with San Francisco's 1960s image, a couple passed a marijuana cigarette to each other as they walked down Third Street approaching the ballpark 4 hours before the game.
Some fans watched for free through knotholes behind the right-field wall.
After the first inning, 84-year-old Tony Bennett stood near the first-base dugout and sang "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," which he sang from the mound before Game 3 of the 2002 World Series.
While the Angels' Rally Monkey was the primary animal getting attention during the Giants' last World Series appearance, this time a few fans wore panda outfits — for Kung Fu Panda, the nickname of third baseman Pablo Sandoval.