Baggs' Instant Replay: Marlins 7, Giants 6

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Baggs' Instant Replay: Marlins 7, Giants 6

BOX SCORE

MIAMI The seas appeared calm and the skies were clear for Tim Lincecum after four innings Friday night.

Entering the game, Lincecum had allowed 12 runs in the first inning and 10 in the fourth. So his outlook brightened when he made it through his roughest channels having given up just a solo home run to Giancarlo Stanton.

But the Miami Marlins deep-sixed him, then they barely survived to beat the Giants 7-6 in South Florida.

Once again, Lincecum was unable to see through a full days labor without walking off the mound with his head bowed. The Marlins erased the Giants 3-1 lead as Lincecum retired just one of the first four batters he faced in the sixth inning. Then came the biggest letdown, when Chris Coghlan -- a .104 hitter -- cranked a three-run home run to cap a five-run inning.

The big inning sank Lincecum again. It was the seventh time hes allowed three runs or more in a frame. The rest of the Giants rotation has only done it three times all season.

This one was the biggest. The five-run inning matched the largest of Lincecums career.

Despite an inspired comeback in the ninth, the Giants fell to 2-8 in Lincecums starts and the two-time Cy Young Award winners 6.41 ERA is as gaudy as the home run structure here. Hes thrown a quality outing just once in 10 starts.

Starting pitching report

For five innings, Lincecum showed enough stuff and gumption to create authentic hope. He responded to Stantons home run, which actually hit the LSD-trip structure in center field, by striking out Logan Morrison on three pitches.

Lincecum fought his way out of trouble in the fifth, too, after a pair of one-out walks. Even his luck on balls in play seemed to be changing. First baseman Aubrey Huff made a diving stop on pinch hitter Greg Dobbs bouncer, then dug it out of his glove in time to throw to Lincecum for the second out. In previous starts, a ball like that often deflected into center field. Lincecum got out of the inning when he struck out Jose Reyes on a 94 mph fastball showing he still can hump up when he needs to make a pitch.

But perhaps that 23-pitch inning took something out of him.

Lincecum seldom appeared right in the sixth, which began when Omar Infante ripped a double that Melky Cabrera couldnt cut off in left field. Lincecum won an eight-pitch battle with Hanley Ramirez when he froze him on a 3-2 slider, but he looked drained after that.

Stanton singled in Infante to make it a 3-2 Giants lead, then Morrison walked on a close pitch and Bryan Peterson singled.

Inexplicably, Marlins third base coach Joe Espada held the muscular Stanton, which helped the Giants in two ways. For the moment, it kept the tying run from scoring. And it avoided the potential of a Stanton-Buster Posey collision at the plate, the thought of which should make every Giants fan shudder.

Lincecum could not engineer an escape. John Bucks sacrifice fly scored Stanton, and then Lincecum threw a hanging, 0-1 curveball that Coghlan yanked into the right field seats. It was the first home run of the year for Coghlan, who was 5-for-48 entering the at-bat.

Lincecum did not kick the dirt or scream. He held out his glove for another baseball, which he promptly handed over to manager Bruce Bochy.

His line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 5 SO, 2 HR, 97 pitches, 60 strikes.

Bullpen report

Shane Loux allowed an unearned run thanks to his own throwing error, but otherwise the bullpen gave the Giants a chance to rally.
At the plate

The Giants did well to scratch three runs against Marlins ace Josh Johnson in five innings.

Angel Pagan singled and scored on Joaquin Arias double-play grounder in the second inning. Pagans two-out single scored Gregor Blanco in the third. And Melky Cabreras low liner snuck inside the pole for his third home run of the season in the fifth inning.

But the Giants minimized their chance in the second, partly because of bad luck but mostly because Aubrey Huff didnt hustle. Huff, who ripped the ball in batting practice, hit a deep drive that missed going over the fence by a foot or two. Huff appeared to trot out of the box and then pulled into first base as Stanton missed while attempting a leaping catch.

Pagan managed to get to third base, but if Huff had kept running to second, Arias ground ball wouldnt have resulted in two outs.

You might not be surprised to learn that Cabrera also tripled in the eighth, adding to his MLB-best 69 hits. He has 42 of them in May with five games to play and hes nine short of the San Francisco-era record for hits in a month, which Randy Winn established with a 51-hit performance in September, 2005.

The Giants entered the ninth trailing 7-4 and chased closer Heath Bell after Arias doubled, Brandon Belt singled him in and Gregor Blanco followed with another double. Brandon Crawford completed a productive night by hitting a sacrifice fly off Steve Cishek.

With Belt on third base and two outs, the Marlins held a conference on the mound and then decided to pitch to Cabrera rather than put the go-ahead run on base. Cishek stole a first-pitch strike, ran the count full, then slipped in a gutsy slider that Cabrera watched to end the game.

In field

The Giants added two more errors to their major league leading total of 49. Loux made an errant pickoff throw that set up the Marlins for an unearned run in the seventh inning.

Second baseman Ryan Theriot displayed skillet hands while trying to field Petersens slowly hit ball in the eighth.
Attendance

The Marlins announced 27,123 paid. Thankfully, no small children reported seizures after the psychedelic, 2.1 million home run structure light up twice.

Up next

The Giants continue their four-game series at Marlins Park on Saturday. Left-hander Mark Buehrle (4-4. 3.36) takes on Madison Bumgarner (5-3, 2.85). Bumgarner, by the way, clanked a ball off the home run structure during batting practice.

Giants spring training Day 40: Belt continues domination of Rockies' home park

Giants spring training Day 40: Belt continues domination of Rockies' home park

BELT RIVER FIELDS, Ariz. — Earlier this spring, Brandon Belt moved his schedule around so he could get additional at-bats. That led to some random trips across the desert, but there was never any doubt Belt would be in Friday’s road lineup.

Belt demolishes the ball at Salt River Fields, spring home of the Rockies and Diamondbacks. After coming out of Friday’s win, he shook his head in mock disgust when talking about the day’s stats.

“One for four, you’ve gotta be kidding me,” Belt said. “That’s terrible.”

That one happened to be a homer, a three-run shot off Jon Gray, the likely opening day starter for the Rockies. Belt thought he crushed the ball but it ended up pretty high, so it simply dropped onto the berm in right. 

“It squeaked out,” Belt said. “Good mojo, I guess.”

The mojo kept his remarkable run going at Salt River. His updated career stats here: 22 for 35, with eight homers, four doubles, one triple and 18 RBI. Belt said he’s not quite sure why he turns into the flames emoji every time he steps onto this field. 

“I don’t know what it is, but I like hitting here,” he said. “Maybe it’s the batter’s eye?”

Salt River has a dark green batter’s eye with no distractions on either side, and the Giants certainly saw the ball well Friday. They had seven straight hits in the third before Gray was pulled with a sore foot. Belt hit second, and manager Bruce Bochy said that wasn’t simply because Joe Panik had the day off. Bochy will look at several different lineup permutations over the next week, and a Span/Belt/Pence/Posey/Crawford one-through-five is one option. 

“I like (that spot) a lot,” Belt said. “I feel good getting started and knowing I’ll get to bat in the first inning. It’s a good spot. I don’t think my approach changes that much: Get a pitch to hit and try to hit it hard.”

GAME RECAP: Jeff Samardzija was sharp in four innings, allowing just two hits and striking out three. He threw about 45 pitches on the field and then went down to the bullpen for 45 more. Samardzija certainly benefited from having Buster Posey back in the lineup. He said Posey noticed during warmups that Samardzija’s delivery was a little flat and his arm was dragging too low. 

“That doesn’t happen often,” Samardzija said of having a guy like Posey back there. “You have a lot of catchers who are afraid to say something.”

The rest of this one was a laugher until the ninth, when the Rockies rallied and brought the winning run to the plate. It hasn’t been a great spring for the bullpen.

STOCK WATCH: Chris Marrero hit a deep homer, his seventh of the spring. He also made a nice pick at first, where he looks much more comfortable. At this point, it appears it’s either Marrero or Kelby Tomlinson for that final bench spot.

TRAINER’S ROOM: The news on Will Smith was as expected. He will have Tommy John surgery next week. 

There is good news for Trevor Brown: The catcher, who has a sore ankle, took some swings and he’s feeling much better. Brown did not, as first reported, get hurt hiking on an off day. It happened during a game. Brown won’t be ready in time to return to Cactus League action, so he’ll likely stay here during the Bay Bridge Series and then travel home with Triple-A Sacramento. 

ICYMI: Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey and Mark Melancon are back in camp. Here’s a story on Posey’s WBC experience, with the catcher saying he’d like to play again in four years. Here’s Crawford on his month, which ended with him giving an NL West rival a slump-busting bat. 

ROSTER UPDATE: The Giants released David Hernandez, at his request. They have started to tell others that they’re not making the opening day roster, so there should be a series of minor transactions this weekend. (You know where to go.)

QUOTABLE: "I swung at a heater and a slider went right into my bat. I was happy to be able to track (pitches), and happy that the next time the bunt didn't go off my beautiful face." -- Samardzija, when asked about his double off the wall. 

Plenty of high-profile MLB players wearing new uniforms in 2017

Plenty of high-profile MLB players wearing new uniforms in 2017

Chris Sale traded socks (AP) -- or Sox - from white to red. Edwin Encarnacion took his big bat to Cleveland. Aroldis Chapman returned to the Bronx.

Plenty of All-Stars, Cy Young winners and MVPs are wearing new uniforms this season.

The biggest move occurred when the Boston Red Sox acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox. The five-time All-Star left-hander left a team that hasn't reached the playoffs since 2008 for one that's won three World Series titles since 2004.

Encarnacion left Toronto for the team that beat the Blue Jays in last year's ALCS. He averaged 39 homers and 110 RBIs over the past five seasons in Toronto and gives the Indians a major boost.

Chapman is back in New York after spending the first half of last season with the Yankees before he was traded to the Chicago Cubs and helped them win the World Series.

Here's a 25-man roster of familiar faces in different places this season:

STARTING LINEUP

1. CF: Dexter Fowler. Jumped from World Series champion Cubs to rival St. Louis. Gives the Cardinals stability atop the batting order.

2. RF: Adam Eaton. Traded from White Sox to defending NL East champion Nationals. He'll play center field in Washington between Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper.

3. DH: Kendrys Morales. Joined Blue Jays to help fill Encarnacion's void after spending past two seasons with the Royals.

4. 1B: Encarnacion.

5. C: Brian McCann. Traded from Yankees to Astros, giving Houston's stacked lineup another slugger.

6. SS: Ian Desmond. Returns to NL to join Rockies after one season playing outfield in Texas. He'll play first base for Colorado, but he's back at shortstop on this squad.

7. LF: Matt Holliday. Signed with Yankees following 7 1/2 seasons in St. Louis. The seven-time All-Star will likely DH in New York though he'll see some action in left field.

8. 2B: Brandon Phillips. Waived no-trade clause to go to rebuilding Braves after 11 seasons with Reds.

9. 3B: Howie Kendrick. Comes east after spending his entire career in Los Angeles - nine seasons with Angels and last two with Dodgers. Kendrick is playing left field for Philadelphia but he starts at third to fill this lineup.

BENCH

1B: Chris Carter. Landed with Yankees after swatting 41 homers for Milwaukee last season to tie for NL lead.

INF: Jimmy Rollins. Former NL MVP is trying to land a roster spot with San Francisco as a utility man after playing all but one-third inning of his 17-year career at shortstop. Has bounced from Dodgers to White Sox to Giants after 15 seasons in Philadelphia.

OF: Michael Saunders. All-Star for Blue Jays last season and will start in right field for Phillies.

OF: Carlos Beltran. Returns to Houston after spending half the 2004 season with the Astros and hitting eight postseason homers for them.

C: Matt Wieters. Left Baltimore for Washington to replace All-Star Wilson Ramos, who joined Tampa Bay and is still recovering from knee surgery.

STARTING ROTATION

Sale.

Edinson Volquez. Goes from Royals to Marlins.

Jaime Garcia. Lefty joins Braves after eight seasons in St. Louis.

Jered Weaver. Stays in California, switching to Padres after 11 seasons with Angels.

R.A. Dickey. Knuckleballer returns to NL East after four seasons in Toronto. One of two 40-plus former Cy Young award winners signed by Braves.

LONG RELIEVER

Bartolo Colon. Other veteran Braves signed to bolster rotation. He'll be long man on this staff.

BULLPEN

Chapman.

Mark Melancon. Signed with Giants after finishing last season in Washington.

Sergio Romo. Went from San Francisco to rival Dodgers.

Wade Davis. Traded from Royals to Cubs to replace Chapman.

Santiago Casilla. Stays in Bay Area, going from Giants to A's.