Giants fade to black on Metallica night

AT&T PARK — The Giants may have been wearing orange, but they eventually faded to black Friday night, losing to the Miami Marlins 7-5 in an offensive slugfest.

Photos by Gabriella Gamboa and Scot Tucker/SFBay

A back and forth contest from the outset, Casey McGehee’s RBI single in the top of the ninth gave Miami their go-ahead runs after the Giants worked hard to come back and tie the game.

Santiago Casilla (L, 1-1, 1.52 ERA) failed to get the job done for San Francisco, giving up two hits — including McGehee’s game deciding single — and walking two in the ninth.

For the third game in a row, the visitors were on the board in the first inning when Miami’s Christian Yelich sent a Yusmeiro Petit fastball into the center field bleachers on the fifth pitch of the game.

Petit started Friday after the Giants elected to skip Tim Hudson’s scheduled start due to a strained left hip. Petit struggled throughout Friday’s contest, giving up five hits and allowing the Marlins to score in four of the five innings in which he pitched.

San Francisco fought fire with fire in the bottom half of the first when Pablo Sandoval knocked in Angel Pagan from second base on an opposite-field RBI double.

The hit extended the Panda’s hitting streak to seven games and raised his average from .184 to .212. Sandoval added another solid game, going 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Miami took back the lead with another home run in the third when Derek Dietrich went into seek and destroy mode on a first pitch fastball, giving the Marlins a 3-1 advantage. A sac fly from Hechavarria extended the Miami lead to 4-1 in the top of the fourth.

The Giants began chipping away in the bottom half, with a first pitch lead-off double from Sandoval.

Pablo would advance to third when a Michael Morse dribbler down the third base line stayed fair, and Sandoval narrowly beat McGehee’s diving tag at 3rd base with a headfirst dive of his own.

An RBI sac fly from Brandon Crawford scored Pablo and advanced Morse, with Brandon Hicks’ RBI double bringing the beast in cutting the Miami lead to 4-3.

The Marlins struck right back with a fourth-inning RBI double from McGehee scoring Yelich from second. Yelich stole second, beating Posey’s throw for his sixth steal of the season.

Carlos Stanton appeared to drop a routine fly ball in the fifth inning, giving the Giants runners at second and third with no outs. Miami called for a review, and the ruling was overturned after it was deemed Stanton had control on the ball and lost it while making the transfer to his throwing hand.

San Francisco would score anyway on another RBI sacrifice fly — this time from Posey — that scored Pagan from third to cut the Miami lead to 5-4.

San Francisco would finally even the score with a Gregor Blanco pinch hit RBI single. Morse scored from second after advancing on a fielding error from McGhee.

Two great defensive plays punctuated a night of offensive proficiency. In the seventh, Angel Pagan slammed into the wall in left center after making a stretching catch to save an extra base hit.

Pagan landed on his back and lost his hat, but held onto the ball, showing his incredible range.

Miami countered with a great if not weird catch of their own in the eighth inning when Stanton seemed to lose a deep fly ball in the night sky only to make a leaping catch over his shoulder, saving what would’ve been a leadoff double for Morse.

Manager Bruce Bochy commented on the defensive efforts:

“That’s what wins ball games for you. Pagan saved us and Stanton saved them in that situation.

With the game still tied, Affeldt forced Ed Lucas to ground into a huge  5-4-3 double play with the bases loaded in the top half of the eighth inning. It was all for naught however, as Miami would take the lead in the ninth as a Garrett Jones RBI single extended the Miami lead to 7-5.

Notes

Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 4-for-5 ending a 0-for-26 drought at the plate. … Jean Machi has now gone 15-2/3 straight innings without allowing a run. … Mike Stanton ended a 17-game hitting streak going 0-for-5. … Until Friday, Santiago Casilla had not allowed a run in his last six appearances. … Friday was Metallica night at AT&T, with guitarists James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett dueling guitars for a blazing National Anthem. … Attendance was 41,819, the 266th consecutive sellout at AT&T Park.