Published November 20, 2014
If Pablo Sandoval's first-inning home run hadn't set a record for the most consecutive solo homers by a club, the Giants may have actually won last night's opener with the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium.
Instead, it is San Francisco that will be aiming to get on track this evening with Tim Lincecum set to take the hill against a Florida club that has won five straight games in this series.
Sandoval gave the Giants a quick lead on Friday, but once again nobody was on base when he went deep. San Francisco's string of 20 solo homers in a row surpassed the previous high of 19 straight set by the 1914 Philadelphia Phillies.
The last San Francisco player to homer with a man on base was Nate Schierholtz, who connected on a two-run blast back on July 6.
Not helping was outfielder Carlos Beltran missing his fourth straight game due to a sprained right wrist. The Giants are trying to avoid a disabled list stint, but also don't to rush Beltran back to early. The in-season pickup is hitting .244 with a pair of RBI in 11 games since the trade.
Regardless, the Marlins came back to score a pair of runs in the bottom of the first on RBI from Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton, sending the Giants to their 11th loss in 14 contests and a two-game deficit behind first-place Arizona in the National League West.
"We've said quite a few times here during this stretch that we're better than this, but we have got to show it," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
Matt Cain allowed just two runs through six innings, but took the tough-luck loss, while Florida's Ricky Nolasco hurled eight innings of one-run ball. He also struck out four to give him 755 with the Marlins, two shy of Dontrelle Willis' franchise mark.
"Those two big runs in the first were huge," said the winning Nolasco. "It's always good when you give up a run in the first and your team gives you the lead back."
The Marlins snapped a seven-game losing streak and have won six of eight over the Giants since the latter club swept a three-game set in Miami last year. Tonight, though, the Fish must contend with a Giants ace in Tim Lincecum, who has begun to find his stride over his past few starts.
Lincecum has allowed more than one run just once in his past six starts, going 4-2 in that span. He helped the Giants salvage the finale of a four-game series with the Phillies on Sunday, giving up a run on seven hits and one walk over 7 2/3 innings of a 3-1 victory. The 27-year-old righty also struck out five and went back over .500 for the season at 10-9 with a 2.69 earned run average in 24 starts.
In two career starts against the Marlins, Lincecum is 1-0 with a 3.14 ERA.
Taking the hill for the Marlins will be Javier Vazquez, who has given up just one earned run in each of his past three outings. That has allowed the right- hander to lower his season ERA from 5.35 before that stretch to its current mark of 4.72.
The right-hander, though, did not get a decision for a second straight start on Sunday versus the Cardinals. He gave up just one run on a solo homer through the first five innings before a defensive miscue led to three unearned runs in the sixth, his final frame of work.
"Today's loss isn't because we didn't hit," Morrison said. "It isn't because we didn't pitch. It's because we didn't play defense."
Vazquez, 35, is 7-9 in 23 starts this year, but that includes just a 3-6 mark and 5.58 ERA in 10 games at home. He is 5-7 wit a 3.65 ERA in 15 career meetings with the Giants.