AT&T PARK — If Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi has an achilles’ heel, it’s the San Francisco Giants.
Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay
Flash back to August 2013, the last time San Francisco faced the Nathan Eovaldi: The Giants collected 11 runs, nine earned, and 12 hits in three innings in a nutty 14-10 win at Marlins Park. In Eovaldi’s four career starts against them, he’s 1-2 with a 12.21 ERA.
Thursday night’s matchup kept with the trend. Eovaldi pitched a season-worst 4.1 innings, allowing eight hits and six earned runs in the Giants’ 6-4 win over the Miami Marlins. The win was also Matt Cain’s first of the season.
Cain (W, 1-3, 4.33 ERA) struggled through the first three innings, giving up four earned runs including a first-inning solo home runfrom Derek Dietrich (3) and a second inning two-run homer to Garrett Jones (5). A third-inning RBI double from Casey McGehee put the Marlins up 4-1.
Cain came into the fourth inning with new command, pitching a 1-2-3 inning and silencing the Marlins offense for good. He pitched through 7-2/3 innings, dishing seven strikeouts and left to a roaring standing ovation from the crowd.
The Horse managed to contain Miami monster Giancarlo Stanton — who leads the MLB in RBIs with 42 — to one hit and no RBIs.
After six starts without a notch in the win column, Manager Bruce Bochy said the win was a weight off Cain’s shoulders:
“You still want wins and you got a goose egg sitting there as a starting pitcher and that gets old after a while. … it’s good for him to get the win here because its a matter of time before it gets talked about…It’s gotta be a good feeling.”
Thursday, in a sight rarely seen in Cain’s starts, the Giants’ offense provided run support.
The bats lit up in the third inning, starting when Hunter Pence, who went 3-5, hit a leadoff double to right. After a Buster Posey strikeout and Pablo Sandoval lineout brought Pence to third, Morse slammed his 10th home run of the season up into the arcade, cutting the Giants’ deficit to one run.
The top of the lineup continued their offensive momentum in the fifth, leaping on Eovaldi’s (L, 2-2, 3.62 ERA) scorching fastballs.
Pagan walked and Pence singled to right to move Pagan to third. Posey cut a double into triples alley to bring Pence and Pagan home and give the Giants the 5-4 lead.
Morse singled to center bringing Posey home, giving him his third RBI of the night and the Giants the decisive 6-4 lead. That was the end of the night for Eovaldi.
Bochy was impressed with the offense’s ability to take advantage of Eovaldi’s pitches:
“He was out there throwing 97,98 … I thought the guys had a good approach. They threw out some good at bats on some tough pitching tonight.”
Sergio Romo got the save, sitting the three batters he faced and dishing one strikeout.
Thursday’s game was the first of a four-game series against the Marlins. Tim Hudson, who was slated to start Friday at 7:15 p.m. for the Giants, will sit due to a strained left hip, according to Bochy. Yusmeiro Petit will start in his place.
Morse’s 10th home run for the season ranks him tied for third in the MLB home run leaders. … Before tonight’s game, the Marlins had won 10 of the last 11 games played at AT&T Park. … Wednesday was the 264th consecutive regular season sellout at AT&T Park.