PHOENIX -- It was the first game of 2012, but it felt a lot like 2011 for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Ian Kennedy pitched well, the offense provided some timely hits and the bullpen came through to finish things off as the D-backs beat the Giants, 5-4, on Friday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd at Chase Field.
"It was just like the D-backs of last year, definitely," center fielder Chris Young said.
Young got things going in the first inning against Giants ace Tim Lincecum.
After Willie Bloomquist started things off with a single, Young worked the count to 2-2 before smacking the next offering over the wall in left for a 2-0 Arizona lead.
"Just a slider," Young said. "He threw me a few of them that at-bat. The first couple he threw me were nice and then he happened to get around one a little bit and left it over the middle."
Later in the frame, Paul Goldschmidt added a homer of his own to increase the Arizona advantage to 3-0.
Goldschmidt, who was called up to the big leagues last August, has owned Lincecum since then, going 6-for-11 against him with three home runs. The only other players who have hit three homers against Lincecum are Ryan Howard (26 at-bats) and Seth Smith (28 at-bats).
"I don't know," Goldschmidt said when asked to explain his success against Lincecum. "I was able to get into a good hitter's count today, 3-1, and get a fastball to hit. Against any pitcher, that's what you're trying to do; you're trying to get a good pitch to hit."
Lincecum settled in after the first and allowed just one hit over the next four innings while his offense rallied to tie things up.
Then in the sixth, the D-backs took the lead when Ryan Roberts, who was making his first career Opening Day start, ended Lincecum's night with a two-run double to the corner in left to put the D-backs up, 5-3.
"Just trying to put the ball in play, man," Roberts said. "Just trying to hit the ball to the outfield and not get too big and hit a fly ball to the infield. Really, in those situations it's a great opportunity to get an RBI as long as you can stay relaxed and put a good swing on it."
The D-backs have had a lot of success against Lincecum the last three times they have faced him after he dominated them for the first few years of his career.
In his last three starts against the D-backs, Lincecum is 0-3 with a 8.80 ERA after going 7-3 with a 2.43 ERA in his first 16 starts against them.
"I don't think much has changed," Young said. "We've been fortunate to face him 50 or 60 times apiece so you kind of know what his plan is against you, what type of pitches he's featuring, and it's our job just to be able to make an adjustment."
Lincecum wound up allowing five runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings.
"With the exception of that first inning, I settled down pretty well," Lincecum said. "I was all right, but all right isn't good enough on Opening Day. That's tough to take."
Kennedy, who won 21 games and finished fourth in the Cy Young Award voting a year ago, was pleased with the game's result, but not with his performance as he allowed three runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings.
"I wasn't really happy with my command," Kennedy said. "I was just really happy how I battled all the way through against a good team."
Speaking of battling, the Giants did some of their own in the ninth against closer J.J. Putz, who saved 45 games in 49 opportunities last year.
With one out and a runner on second, Pablo Sandoval laced a double to left-center that scored Melky Cabrera to pull the Giants to within a run.
That brought the linchpin of the San Francisco offense, Buster Posey, to the plate. The 2010 National League Rookie of the Year, who missed most of 2011 after injuring his ankle in a collision at home plate, got ahead 2-0 before grounding out to short to end the game.
"He was throwing a cutter," Posey said. "It was a decent pitch to hit; it was down a little bit. That's the way it goes sometimes. I just got on top of it."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.