New-look Giants hope to salvage series vs. Fish

New-look Giants hope to salvage series vs. Fish
May 26, 2011, 3:31 pm
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May 26, 2011GIANTS (27-21) vs.MARLINS (28-19)Coverage begins at 12 p.m. on Comcast Sports Net Bay Area

(AP) -- After overcoming a four-run deficit in the ninth inning, the San Francisco Giants eventually lost the game and likely their star catcher in their most recent contest.

They'll look to surprising starter Ryan Vogelsong to help them avoid a three-game sweep.

San Francisco hosts the surging Florida Marlins in the series finale Thursday after engaging in an extra-inning thriller in the previous game.

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The Giants (27-21) overcame a 6-2 deficit Wednesday night before falling to the Marlins 7-6 in 12 innings, giving Florida its fourth win in five games.

The Marlins (28-19) scored the winning run when Scott Cousins ran over Giants catcher Buster Posey while tagging on Emilio Bonifacio's sacrifice fly. Posey, the reigning NL rookie of the year, remained down for several minutes before being helped off the field while not putting any weight on his left leg.

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The extent of the injury is unclear, though it's likely Posey will miss Thursday's game.

"It's the toughest play in baseball. You hate to see it," manager Bruce Bochy said. "As a catcher you know what it's like, and you don't like it. Believe me. When I see him laying there, it's certainly not a good feeling."

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Aubrey Huff hit a tying two-run single in the ninth off Florida closer Leo Nunez, who blew his first save in 19 opportunities.

After the tough loss, San Francisco turns to Vogelsong (3-0, 1.93 ERA), who has taken an unconventional path to his recent success.

Vogelsong hadn't pitched in the majors in five seasons, nearly retiring numerous times wondering if he'd ever make it back. The Giants called him up to replaced the injured Barry Zito in April, and after two scoreless relief appearances Vogelsong has a 2.25 ERA in five starts. He hasn't allowed an earned run in 19 1-3 consecutive innings over his last three outings.

"He has really done an incredible job," Bochy said. "The long road he's been through, he's a better pitcher and player because of it."

The right-hander continued his surprising comeback Friday, allowing one unearned run through six innings as the Giants (27-21) beat Oakland 2-1 in 10 innings.

"In the past, I could always figure out what I was doing wrong," Vogelsong said. "But it was always an inning late, a hitter late, now I'm always able to make adjustments out there."

He'll be up against another hot pitcher in Anibal Sanchez (3-1, 3.02), who hasn't lost since falling to Houston 7-1 on April 10.

The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA in seven starts since, including allowing three runs in seven innings of Florida's 5-3 win Friday against Tampa Bay. He had pitched 15 consecutive scoreless innings over his previous two starts.

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Sanchez tossed a shutout in his last start against the Giants on July 29, allowing only a fifth-inning single to Pablo Sandoval and a seventh-inning walk to Huff. It marked Sanchez's last shutout, with his only other coming as a rookie in 2006 when he no-hit Arizona.

If needed, the Marlins may hope the bullpen doesn't falter again as it did Wednesday. Edward Mujica and Nunez allowed two runs each in the ninth.

Mike Stanton hit a two-out, three-run double in the top of the ninth to give Florida a seemingly comfortable four-run lead before San Francisco's surprising comeback.

The Marlins have won five of the last seven meetings in San Francisco.