The San Francisco Giants have been down right terrible with runners in scoring position this season, and it was looking like their RISP woes would continue on Wednesday night against the Miami Marlins. They showed a glimmer of hope in the ninth inning after forcing extra innings, but eventually would fall 3-2 in 10 innings at AT&T Park.
Barry Zito was hoping that his solid start would continue but showed some signs of wear in his last start, and was flat out off the mark this evening. Zito loaded the bases in the first, allowing Omar Infante to score on a fielder's choice grounder that should have been a double play. He got into trouble in the second inning as well, with Gaby Sanchez eventually scoring on a Joaquin Arias error.
Even though those runs weren't completely his fault, the rest of the runners on base were, giving up on earned run on seven walks and two hits in only 3.2 innings of work, tossing 91 pitches along the way.
Carlos Zambrano was dominant for Miami, owning the strike zone and the Giants hitters all night long. He blanked them for seven innings along with five hits, three walks and five strikeouts. Then their bullpen gave the Giants some life in the bottom of the ninth.
Brandon Belt got it started with a double off of Heath Bell, than scored after Joaquin Arias' timely single (finally). Then it was Buster Posey's turn, slapping a single for his first career pinch hit in his MLB career, putting runners at the corners with no outs. Brett Pill would strike out, followed by a perfect Gregor Blanco squeeze bunt scored Belt to tie the game 2-2.
Angel Pagan stepped in the box, after extending his league leading hit streak to 16 games after a single earlier in the game, but hit a chopper to third for the second out. Melky Cabrera's infield single loaded the bases, though Ryan Theriot would ground out up the middle to end the rally.
With the start of extras saw the end of available utility players for the Giants, but also saw the wind go out of their sails as Giancarlo Stanton hit a bullet home run over the left field wall to retake the lead 3-2. Miami's Steve Cishek went through the Giants lineup 1-2-3, closing out the win for Miami, their fifth in a row dating back to their last series at AT&T.
Belt, Arias and Cabrera each finished with multiple hits, while Hector Sanchez struggled with an 0-5 night with three strikeouts. San Francisco had 10 hits compared to Miami's five, while San Francisco finished 4-11 with RISP.
A couple of Giants call ups got some action tonight as Steve Edlefsen and Jeremy Affeldt's replacement Travis Blackley combined for 3.1 innings of work, each giving up one walk and one hit.
Pablo Sandoval would exit the game in the sixth after possibly suffering some sort of injury to his left hand. He's experiencing a 'good amount of pain' in the hand according to Bruce Bochy in the postgame press conference. Pablo missed about a month last year after breaking the hamate bone in his right hand on a swing late in April.
Thursday's finale will feature Ryan Vogelsong (0-1 4.19 ERA) taking on Anibal Sanchez (1-0 2.73 ERA) for the Marlins. First pitch is set for 12:45 p.m. PT.
For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles. For the Marlins side of things, check out Fish Stripes.