AT&T PARK — Bay Area residents awoke to some nasty weather Sunday morning. And unfortunately, the result of the Giants’ Sunday matinee was equally unappealing.
The Orange and Black appeared to mount another late game threat against the Marlins on this foggy Sunday afternoon, especially with a towering homer from Hunter Pence that broke the Giants’ 90-inning home run drought.
But Miami’s ninth-inning rally led the last-place visitors to victory, closing out its series win in San Francisco with a 7-2 win.
Justin Ruggiano hit two homers and Marcell Ozuna went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a solo shot in the Marlins’ smackdown of the Giants.
Miami took three out of four from the Giants, who suffered their first losing home stand since July of 2012. The Giants (38-37) remain three games behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.
Manager Bruce Bochy sighed and said of the series:
Giants Manager Bruce Bochy
Video: CSN Bay Area
“We just got shut down. Their starters, their bullpen, they played great. We got outplayed here.”
Matt Cain got the loss for the Giants, despite only allowing three earned runs in six innings with six strikeouts. Bochy commented on Cain’s quality start, and the performances of the rest of his rotation:
“I thought he threw pretty good. … Our starters have been doing a good job. That’s what really hurts more than anything is that they’ve been doing a nice job and giving us a chance to win. We’ve just got to get the bats going.”
On the second pitch of the game, Cain surrendered a solo shot to Justin Ruggiano. It was the 16th homer that Cain has given up this season, adding to his not-so-glamorous title as the pitcher who has given up the second most home runs in the National League.
Cain settled down and got in the zone following that first at-bat, notching five strikeouts over the next three innings.
Miami added to their lead in the fourth with an RBI double by Marcell Ozuna that flew over Nick Noonan’s glove and coasted into the left field corner. That brought Logan Morrison home from first base and put San Francisco in the hole 2-0.
Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi found a way to keep the Giants scoreless for seven innings. Bochy was complimentary of the rival pitcher:
“We saw a great arm today. The guy’s throwing 97, 98, and got his off-speed pitches going. They pitched great. … They us down every game really.”
Miami would capitalize on San Francisco mishaps in the sixth, as a Brandon Belt error allowed Logan Morrison to reach first base and advance Ed Lucas all the way from first to home plate, giving the Marlins a 3-0 advantage.
The Giants finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning following a stand-up triple that pinch-hitter Tony Abreu launched deep into left field. A Marco Scutaro ground out to first brought Abreu home to put the home team on the board 3-1.
Hunter Pence finally helped take Eovaldi out of the game, opening up the seventh inning with a paleo-powered solo shot that soared into the bleachers in left-center and brought the score to 3-2.
Bochy said after the game that he hopes breaking the HR drought will give a boost the Giants’ offense:
“Hopefully it will start something, and we’ll start hitting a few more. Especially if you’re not hitting a lot, that’s where the long ball comes into play. It helps you.”
Following a four-pitch walk to Brandon Belt, Eovaldi was sent to the showers, but the Giants didn’t stop the rally there.
Andres Torres’ sharp hit to Lucas took a nasty hop, bouncing off of the third baseman’s glove and into shallow left, giving the speedy Belt the opportunity to reach third base with just one out in the inning.
San Francisco mounted a threat in the bottom of the eighth inning, but were unable to generate more runs. The Marlins, on the other hand, took full advantage of a rally in the top of the ninth off of reliever Jean Machi.
Ozuna opened up the inning with a home run, before pinch hitter Greg Dobbs hit an RBI double and Ruggiano smashed a two-run shot over the 399-foot marker in center field to seal the 7-2 fate.
The Giants hit the road for 10 games, starting Monday night down at Chavez Ravine to start a three-game set against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
The Giants have now lost 10 of their last 11 games against the Marlins at AT&T Park. … Sunday marked the fourth time in Matt Cain’s career that he has allowed a lead off home run. It was also Justin Ruggiano’s second career multi-homer game, and his first career lead off home run. … San Francisco was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Sunday, going 4-for-32 during the four game series with Miami. … Gregor Blanco now has hits in seven consecutive games, batting .500 with four RBIs and four runs scored. He has notched a multi-hit game in 7-of-his-last-11 contests. … 10 of Hunter Pence’s 12 home runs have been solo shots. … Marco Scutaro went 2-for-4 and now has 29 multi-hit games in 2013, tying him for the second most in the National League.