Teams that have won three times apiece tangle for the seventh time in 10 days when the visiting Miami Marlins take on the San Francisco Giants on Sunday afternoon.
The first three games in San Francisco have mirrored the three in Miami last week, when the home team won the first two meetings before the visiting club took the third.
Miami continued that sequence Saturday night with a four-run ninth inning in a 5-2 win after starting pitchers Pablo Lopez of the Marlins and Kevin Gausman of the Giants dominated the first eight innings of a 1-1 game.
Jesus Aguilar’s two-run homer off Giants reliever Gregory Santos in the ninth gave the Marlins the lead for good.
Pitching has dominated five of the first six games in the home-and-home series, with the lone exception being a 7-6 Marlins win in 10 innings on April 17.
There have been a total of just 24 runs scored in the other five games.
The Giants hope right-hander Logan Webb (0-1, 5.87) can follow the lead of teammates who have shut out the Marlins for two of San Francisco’s three wins in the two series.
Webb will be making his fourth start of the season. His first three were remarkably similar, having gone between four and 5 1/3 innings in each, allowing seven or eight hits and giving up three or four runs.
The 24-year-old has never pitched against Miami and would be wise to consult Saturday’s starter, Gausman, on how to deal with the Marlins in general — and Jose Devers in particular.
Gausman limited Miami to one run and two hits over eight innings, striking out Devers all three times in the prospect’s major-league debut.
Promoted during this series while the Marlins have played without two of their offensive standouts — Starling Marte and Brian Anderson — Devers was thrown right into the fire Saturday by manager Don Mattingly, who sees big things in the future of the 21-year-old cousin of Boston third baseman Rafael Devers.
“He knows how to play,” Mattingly insisted. “I know he’s a young kid, but young kids that have played winter ball and things like that for the Dominican, they’re not afraid of anything over here, and they don’t seem to be too nervous. So Jose’s a baseball player, he’s going to be fine. He’s going to be a good player.”
The Marlins did not announce a starting pitcher for the series finale, but Giants manager Gabe Kapler had a message for whomever it is: Expect more of what his club accomplished in the ninth inning of the 5-2 loss.
After being limited to three hits in eight innings, the Giants got a home run from Mike Yastrzemski and a double from Brandon Belt in the ninth, bringing the potential tying run to the on-deck circle and creating what Kapler deemed to be momentum heading into Sunday.
“We got a good push there at the end,” he said proudly. “It was an opportunity for us to just be done, but we didn’t do that. We fought and we battled at the end, and that is promising.”
–Field Level Media