Giants survive 35-hit contest
08/17/2013 12:00 AM
10/08/2014 10:46 AM
MIAMI – There's a nightclub beyond the left field fence at Marlins Park. Just beyond the center field wall is a gaudy, brightly lit sculpture featuring fake dolphins that rotate when the Marlins hit a homer.
A fish tank sits behind home plate, and the concourse includes a glass case that houses more than 600 bobbleheads.
What happened on the field in Friday night's 14-10 Giants win was stranger than any of that.
The National League's two lowest scoring teams combined for 35 hits, including 13 that went for extra bases.
The Giants took a 12-4 lead in the top of the fourth, but starting pitcher Chad Gaudin could not qualify for a win, and closer Sergio Romo had to warm up in the bottom of the ninth.
"A couple of guys asked me after, 'Did we win?' " manager Bruce Bochy said, leaning back in his chair and rubbing his forehead. "We don't do anything easy. It's not our nature."
The Giants averaged just 2.73 runs in their first 26 games after the All-Star break but hit that mark in three of the first four innings.
Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi had given up three total earned runs in his four previous starts, but the Giants put up four in the first, three in the second and five in the fourth. The parting shot was Hector Sanchez's second three-run homer in less than 24 hours.
The Giants had gone 27 consecutive games without picking up more than three extra-base hits, but the numbers piled up Friday.
First baseman Brandon Belt tied a career-high with four hits and finished a homer short of the cycle, right fielder Hunter Pence tied a season-high with five RBIs, and Marco Scutaro and Brandon Crawford combined for five hits and four runs atop the order.
Most important, third baseman Pablo Sandoval finally had a breakthrough game, reaching base in all six of his plate appearances.
"I think I haven't been on base six times in the last three weeks," Sandoval said, laughing.
Sandoval had just eight hits in his previous 51 at-bats, but he picked up four of them Friday, along with three RBIs and two walks. Sandoval's contributions helped the Giants race around the bases while building an early eight-run lead.
Bochy will always do all he can to let a starting pitcher qualify for a win, but Gaudin couldn't close the deal after getting 12 runs of support.
Gaudin was already reeling in the third and gave up a solo homer in the fourth. Bochy came out to visit after Gaudin issued a leadoff walk in the fifth and then gave up a single to Marlins reliever Ryan Webb, who was hitless in two previous big league at-bats.
After Gaudin walked catcher Jeff Mathis, a career .197 hitter, he was pulled.
Left-hander Jose Mijares entered and gave up three straight run-scoring hits as the Marlins pulled within three and brought the tying run to the plate in slugger Giancarlo Stanton. But at last, order was restored. Mijares struck out Stanton and Logan Morrison before getting an inning-ending groundout.
Sandy Rosario followed with two scoreless innings to settle things down.
The Giants tacked on two more runs in the seventh on a single by Scutaro and triples by Belt and Pence. Barry Zito came on in the ninth and gave up a homer on his first pitch, but as Romo warmed up, Zito finally shut down the Marlins for good.
About This BlogMatt Kawahara has covered baseball for The Sacramento Bee for three years. Kawahara, a McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley graduate, joined The Bee in 2010. Before joining Sports, he was a general assignment news reporter. Reach Kawahara at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @matthewkawahara.
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