Giants can’t recover after Hicks blunder
AT&T PARK — Nothing went right for the Giants in their 5-0 loss to the Miami Marlins Saturday night.
For just the second time this season, San Francisco lost consecutive games at home; the last were April 9 and 10 to the Diamondbacks.
Coming off Monday’s stellar 11-strikeout win against Atlanta, Tim Lincecum (L, took the loss after dealing a mediocre six innings with seven hits, three runs and six strikeouts..
The Freak pitched a promising first inning, striking out Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton and forcing a Derek Dietrich ground out.
But his momentum collapsed in the second. He dealt consecutive walks to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Marcell Ozuna and gave up a single to Adeiny Hechavarria to give the Marlins the 1-0 lead. That was all they needed.
The Giants entered the bottom of the inning ready to answer back. Hector Sanchez worked the count and managed a leadoff walk.
A Gregor Blanco strikeout brought up Brandon Hicks, who belted a line drive into the Levi’s Landing bricks for what looked like a double. But a Marlins challenge provoked the umpires in New York to overturn the call: Hicks never touched first.
Manager Bruce Bochy was a bit wary of the call:
“… I’ve looked at it and it’s hard to tell. [The umpires] may have a different angle but I couldn’t tell where they could overturn that, but it’s obvious they saw it. … it was a critical mistake there and I think that hurt us.”
The Marlins’ offense struck again in the sixth. Casey McGehee punched a leadoff double to center field before Garrett Jones followed with a triple that sent McGehee home, forcing a diving Angel Pagan to fall awkwardly on his shoulder.
Saltalamacchia hit a sacrifice fly to bring Jones home and give the Marlins a 3-0 lead. Lincecum finished off the inning, adding another strikeout to his count, but never returned.
After Hicks’ gaffe, the Giants offense failed to gain any momentum against Marlins starter Tom Koehler (W, 3-3, 2.57 ERA). They managed six hits, leaving a total five runners in scoring position stranded on base, including two in the bottom of the ninth.
The heart of the Giants’ lineup — Pagan, Morse, Pence and, recently again, Sandoval — combined for a total three hits. Pagan went 0-for-4.
Koehler — who hadn’t won a road game since September 22, 2013 — pitched through seven innings and dealt seven strikeouts in the process.
Bochy gave credit where credit was due:
“Their guy has good stuff. He was throwing in the mid-90s, good breaking ball and he pitched a good game. You can’t take that away. He had good stuff tonight.”
Giancarlo Stanton hit his 12th home run of the season off of David Huff in the seventh inning to make it a 4-0 game. Stanton is now tied for second, with Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz on the MLB home run leader board.
The Marlins’ final run came in the 9th when Jeff Baker singled to left to bring Hechavarria home, who had reached the at-bat before on a dropped ball by Pence in right field.
The win Saturday gives Miami the 2-1 series lead. The Giants have a chance to tie the series Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
Saturday’s game was the 266th consecutive regular-season sellout. … The Giants’ 27-17 record is still tied for the best record in baseball with the Milwaukee Brewers, who stand at 27-16.