Garcia-Lopez books Murray date
The Spaniard proved too strong for his Portuguese opponent, opening up a 4-0 lead in the deciding set before claiming a 7-6 4-6 6-2 victory as men's action got under way in the Californian desert.
He now moves into the second round where he will meet world number four and fourth seed Murray, who was handed a bye into the next phase.
World number one Novak Djokovic will kick off the defence of his title - one of 10 tournaments he won last year - against Andrey Golubev after the Kazakh won his first-round encounter with South Africa's Rik De Voest 6-1 6-4.
Sam Querrey later joined him with a 7-6 6-4 victory over compatriot Tim Smyczek, but there was disappointment for Rhyne Williams, Jack Sock and Jesse Levine, who were all ousted at the first time of asking.
Poland's Lukasz Kubot downed big-serving Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-4 6-2 while Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden continued his good form by beating Russian Igor Kunitsyn 6-1 4-6 6-4 to secure a place in the next round.