Marlins' Sanchez tries to tame Giants again in series opener

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez already defeated the San Francisco Giants earlier this month on the road.

Sanchez threw seven innings of one-run ball in a 3-2 win on May 3 and allowed seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks. He is 3-0 with a sparkling 0.87 earned run average in four career starts against the Giants and will face them again tonight in the opener of a four-game series at Marlins Park.

The right-handed Sanchez is 2-2 in eight total starts this season to go along with a 2.32 ERA, but has dropped back-to-back starts. He gave up three runs in seven innings in a loss to Pittsburgh on May 14, then was reached for a pair of runs in seven frames during a 2-0 setback at Cleveland on Saturday. He hopes to even his record at home in 2012, as he sports an 0-1 mark in three outings in south Florida.

Miami was hoping to complete a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, but newcomer Carlos Zambrano fell apart on the mound and permitted a season-high seven runs and five hits in five innings.

"Obviously the Rockies got to us tonight, they're a good hitting team," said Zambrano. "They came in with a six-game losing streak and they were hungrier than us tonight."

Jose Reyes had two hits and two runs scored, while Greg Dobbs and Zambrano each knocked in a run for the Marlins, who had won three in a row and six of eight games before failing to complete the sweep. Miami had won three straight at home and is 2-1 on a 10-game homestand. Washington will pay a visit to Marlins Park from May 28-30.

Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Wednesday, but has cracked eight homers this month.

San Francisco had won two straight and five of six games, and had a chance for a three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers until Wednesday's 8-5 loss.

Giants left-hander Barry Zito was saddled with the loss for surrendering eight runs, four of which were earned, and five hits in only three innings.

"A lot of frustration today," Giants skipper Bruce Bochy said. "We didn't play well, but a couple of calls at first went against us, too. You add that up, and they were frustrated at the plate. It was one of those days where there were a lot of borderline calls. The guys were more frustrated than I've seen, ever, this year, with some calls."

The Giants almost rallied from an 8-0 hole, but fell to 2-1 on a seven-game road trip. Hector Sanchez drove in three runs, Joaquin Arias recorded three hits and both Brandon Crawford and Melky Cabrera had an RBI in defeat.

San Francisco hops its luck will change with Ryan Vogelsong on the mound and has won each of the righty's last three starts. Vogelsong is 2-0 over that stretch and tossed seven shutout innings, allowing one hit, in Saturday's 4-0 win over Oakland. The performance pushed his season totals to 2-2 in seven starts and lowered his earned run average to 2.27.

Vogelsong lost to the Marlins on May 3 and opposed Sanchez on the hill. He was reached for two runs -- one earned -- and eight hits in seven innings. Vogelsong is 1-3 with a 1.97 ERA in seven career games (3 starts) against the Marlins, spanning 32 innings pitched.

Miami swept that three-game set by the bay and has won eight of the past 10 meetings between the two clubs.