Two teams that had to endure a cross-country flight without a day off — one team in much better spirits than the other — will begin a four-game series Thursday night when the Miami Marlins visit the San Francisco Giants.
The Marlins helped their cause by making quick work of the visiting Baltimore Orioles in a 3-0 win Wednesday, getting seven shutout innings from rookie Trevor Rogers.
Jesus Aguilar lashed a two-run double in a three-run fifth inning that featured the only scoring of the game, which was completed in a spiffy 2 hours and 42 minutes.
While the Marlins were on their way to the airport to begin their 3,000-mile trek to San Francisco, the Giants were in a rain delay in Philadelphia that was only one of their issues in a 6-5 loss.
Pinch-hitter Darin Ruf’s three-run homer in the seventh inning went to waste for the Giants when the Phillies rallied to tie the 3-hour, 15-minute affair — not counting the 44-minute rain delay — before Andrew Knapp sent the visitors on their way with a walk-off single in the ninth.
The win allowed Miami to complete a 3-2 homestand, while San Francisco settled for a 3-3 Eastern split, in a week that began with the Marlins taking two of three at home from the Giants.
After being held to eight runs in the Miami series and needing a 1-0 win just to avoid getting swept, Giants manager Gabe Kapler was happy to see his team’s bats come alive in Philadelphia, even if Wednesday’s five runs weren’t quite enough.
“I thought we played some good baseball, and I think our offense in this series began to jell a little bit and show the type of firepower that we have,” Kapler observed of a series that included a 10-7 Giants win on Tuesday. “I think there’s better baseball in us, and I’m never going to be satisfied going 3-3 on a road trip.”
The Marlins, meanwhile, weren’t thrilled to board their flight west without standout outfielder Starling Marte, who suffered a fractured rib in the series finale against the Giants on Sunday.
He had hit safely in eight straight games at the time of the injury, which has sent him onto the injured list for what manager Don Mattingly hopes will be a minimal amount of time.
“He’s a big part of what we do,” Mattingly assessed. “He’s that cog in the offense, defense, on the bases … You don’t want to lose this guy for six weeks.It could be a couple weeks.It could be 10 days … We want it to be the minimum.”
Marte went 3-for-11 against the Giants with a home run, four RBIs and two walks. He ended Sunday’s game with a .316 batting average.
Thursday’s series-opening pitching matchup is scheduled to be Marlins left-hander Daniel Castano (0-0, 1.80 ERA) against Giants righty Aaron Sanchez (0-1, 2.45). Both pitched in the series in Miami.
Castano got the Marlins off on a good foot with five innings of three-hit, one-run ball in a 4-1 win in Friday’s series opener. The 26-year-old was facing the Giants for the first time in his career and did not get a decision.
Sanchez started Saturday’s 7-6 loss and also didn’t get a decision after getting pulled two outs into the fifth inning, having allowed just one run and five hits.
The 28-year-old has faced the Marlins twice in his career, going 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA.
–Field Level Media