Marlins snag the last bite in 7-5 win over Giants

05/17/2014 12:23 AM

05/17/2014 12:24 AM

SAN FRANCISCO -- How to summarize an AT&T Park night game that featured 12 combined runs, 25 hits and the Giants losing for just the second time this season in 17 games when scoring at least five runs?

"Hitters gotta eat, too," reliever Jeremy Affeldt said.

They did Friday night, and it was the Marlins taking the last bite, scoring two runs in the ninth inning of a tied game for a 7-5 win. Both runs were charged to Santiago Casilla, who had come out to start the ninth after bailing out Affeldt and the Giants in the eighth with an inning-ending, bases-loaded double play.

Casilla walked Christian Yelich leading off the ninth and allowed a Derek Dietrich single before striking out Giancarlo Stanton. Casey McGehee, though, shot a single into right to score Yelich, and after Reed Johnson lined out, Garrett Jones grounded a single into left off Javier Lopez to make it a two-run game.

The Giants had rallied from deficits of 1-0, 4-1 and 5-3, but couldn’t mount another in the ninth against Marlins closer Steve Cishek. They’re 15-2 when scoring five or more runs. The two runs allowed by Casilla were the most the Giants’ bullpen has given up this year in a home game -- the unit had given up just six earned runs in 58 2/3 previous innings.

Walking the leadoff hitter in the ninth inning of a 5-5 game was a definite faux pas. But Affeldt said he felt like Casilla, overall, "actually threw the ball really, really good.

"I feel like sometimes you can not execute, and then sometimes you execute and still the ball doesn’t go your way," Affeldt said. "You saw the hits they got -- they did some good situational hitting. You’ve just got to be OK with that. You’ve got to say good job and hopefully tomorrow we can execute our pitches and the ball will bounce our way."

Affeldt had entered with one out in the eighth and allowed back-to-back hits to Jones and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Casilla then entered and walked Adeiny Hechavarria but got pinch hitter Ed Lucas to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to escape the jam.

Tyler Colvin doubled with one out in the bottom of the inning, but he was stranded there as Brandon Crawford struck out and Brandon Hicks flew out to right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton had made a crucial play to start the inning as well, leaping at the wall to rob Michael Morse of an opposite-field hit.

"Stanton made a great catch there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That’s what wins ballgames for you. (Angel) Pagan saved us (with an earlier running catch), Stanton saved them tonight in that situation."

Bochy said Friday’s was a "tough game," in that the Giants had fought back repeatedly to finally tie it on Gregor Blanco’s pinch-hit RBI single in the sixth. But he struck a similar tone to Affeldt.

"You’re going to have games like this where it’s not going to go your way," Bochy said. "That’s the way this game goes. We’ve been playing well; we’re going to put this behind us."

Both teams had four hits with runners in scoring position. But the Marlins totaled theirs in nine at-bats, and the Giants had theirs in 14. Miami came up with two in the ninth and that was the difference.

"Sometimes when you throw a lot of strikes, that happens -- really they just kind of make enough contact, the ball just gets through," Affeldt said. "You’ve got to tip your hat to hitters. Tonight they got us. Hopefully we come back tomorrow and make those same pitches, keep the ball down, get ground balls, and hopefully the balls go our way."

* Prior to starting Friday’s game in place of Tim Hudson, Yusmeiro Petit had pitched all of one inning since his last start May 5. Still, he said, he "felt comfortable today after the second inning. The first inning I lost my command."

Petit allowed a home run to Yelich leading off the game. But the Marlins did subsequent damage in the third, fourth and fifth. After Yelich reached on Crawford’s fielding error in the third, Derek Dietrich drove a first-pitch fastball from Petit for a homer to right.

Petit said he threw a 3-1 fastball in the strike zone to Yelich to avoid a leadoff walk, and that Dietrich jumped on a first-pitch fastball that was supposed to be down and away but caught a little boo much plate. He said in all three of their at-bats against him, both those hitters "were looking for the fastball."

Since his emergency start following Matt Cain’s kitchen mishap April 29, Petit has given up 12 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings in two starts. The spot starter’s role isn’t easy, but Petit said he felt "normal" on Friday despite the long layoff. He reiterated that, "I’m ready for any situation they give me."

The Giants, though, naturally hope they won’t need him again in four days, with Hudson expected to miss just one start with his strained left hip.

* One of the positives for the Giants came from Pablo Sandoval, who doubled in his first two at-bats and finished 2-for-4. It’s Sandoval’s first game with multiple extra-base hits since last Sept. 4 against San Diego, when he hit three home runs, and he has now hit safely in his last seven games. He has raised his average from .171 to .212 in that span.

"I feel a lot better," Sandoval said. "Just focusing and trying to get good at-bats every game. I don’t worry too much about my average, just try to get a good at-bat out there, try to put the barrel on the ball, and that’s what I’ve been doing."

Sandoval still hasn’t homered in over a month -- his last came April 13 against Colorado. But he put a couple of nice swings on the two doubles Friday, going the opposite way in the first inning for a two-out RBI and lining a ball back up the middle in the fourth.

* Also possibly emerging from a deep funk: Blanco, who pinch-hit for Petit in the sixth and lined a two-strike pitch from Henderson Alvarez to right for a game-tying single. It followed what should have been an inning-ending ground ball by Hicks that McGehee booted to give the Giants two on with two outs.

Blanco has driven in runs in back-to-back games after having two RBIs all of April, when he started the season in a 4-for-40 quagmire.

"He’s the kind of guy where you get an opportunity, you try to do the best you can," said Sandoval. "And he’s been doing that."

Blanco, who showed signs of life with his three-steal, three-run performance Wednesday against the Braves, said before Friday’s game that the season has been "a little weird," as he started out thinking he’d be playing more regularly as the fourth outfielder but quickly found that hasn’t been the case.

"I know the reason is everybody’s doing great, we’re winning, we’re in first place, and so whatever it takes to win games, I’m in," Blanco said. "Now I know what kind of situation I’m in, what I need to do to help my teammates and the team. And I think it’s good that I finally know what my role is right now and can try to contribute."

* And speaking of breaking a slump, Saltalamacchia did so in style Friday. The Marlins’ catcher entered the game on a 0-for-26 slide. He broke that with a second-inning single, then went on to tie his career high with four hits.

* Before Friday, Casilla hadn’t given up a run in his last six appearances, and opponents were 0-for-their-last-8 against him with runners in scoring position. But as Affeldt said, sometimes hitters gotta eat. Game 3 of the series is a 6:05 p.m. start Saturday. The Giants will send Tim Lincecum (3-2, 4.78) to the mound against the Marlins’ right-hander Tom Koehler (3-3, 2.57).


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