Marlins 7, Giants 4
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Manager Jack McKeon’s lineup changes were made in desperation. Felipe Alou shuffled his players out of sad necessity.
Miguel Cabrera and Derrek Lee homered and drove in three runs apiece, and Carl Pavano pitched seven solid innings as the Marlins snapped a five-game losing streak with a 7-4 victory Sunday over the Giants.
San Francisco was a bit listless in its second straight game without major league home run leader Barry Bonds, who was placed on the bereavement list after his father died a day earlier. Bonds will be away from the team indefinitely.
The NL West leaders held a brief team meeting before the game to discuss the loss of Bonds, whose imposing presence in the lineup probably will be missing for several more days. When Bonds left the team for five days last week to be with his father, San Francisco lost four straight.
“We’ll do the best we can,” Alou said. “Mentally, these guys know they can win a game without Barry. Hopefully we can win a couple more before he comes back.”
Kirk Rueter (7-4) was roughed up in his return from the disabled list as the Giants lost for just the fourth time in 25 home games.
The Marlins handed the NL West-leading Giants their only loss on a six-game homestand. With its first win over San Francisco in six tries this season, Florida also closed within a half-game of Philadelphia in the wild-card race.
McKeon rested his two most dependable hitters—Mike Lowell and Ivan Rodriguez—and shuffled the order, with Lee taking the cleanup spot and Cabrera hitting fifth. Lee scored three runs, and Cabrera went 3-for-4.
“We got good pitching and timely hitting today, which we hadn’t seen for five days,” McKeon said. “We need our big guys to step up, and they came through at the right time. We’ve lost five out of six this week, but we haven’t lost any ground, so I’m thankful for that.”
Pavano (10-11) allowed seven hits and struck out four, recovering nicely from a lousy start at Colorado last Tuesday. It was the fourth win in seven starts for the steady right-hander, who got just his third victory in 12 road outings this season.
“It was a huge win,” Pavano said. “I threw strikes, and the guys made the plays behind me. Even without Barry Bonds, you can’t take that team lightly.”
Cabrera’s two-run homer highlighted a fourth-inning rally by the Marlins, who also scored when Lee singled home Luis Castillo. They added two more in the sixth on consecutive RBI singles by Cabrera and Alex Gonzalez.
Lee homered in the seventh against reliever Scott Eyre.
“I had a lot of family and friends here, so there was some extra motivation,” said Lee, a Northern California native.
Jeffrey Hammonds, replacing Bonds in left field, went 2-for-4 with two doubles. He also made spectacular catches on consecutive drives in the fourth, preventing the Marlins’ three-run inning from being much bigger.
Hammonds got a standing ovation from the sellout crowd.
“They appreciate baseball out here,” Hammonds said. “I’ve just got to go out there and do my best for as long as I have to. I don’t have a choice.”
Rueter hadn’t pitched since July 25 with a shoulder injury, and he wasn’t sharp. He allowed six hits, five runs and a handful of screaming line drives that were snared by the Giants’ outfielders and shortstop Rich Aurilia.
Rookie Todd Linden got his first career RBI for San Francisco, and EdgardoAlfonzo drove in two runs.
Giants 2B Ray Durham won’t be activated from the disabled list before San Francisco’s road game at Colorado on Tuesday. Durham has been out for two weeks with a nagging groin injury. “He’s kind of stuck at about 85 percent, and we’re not going to put him out there until he’s closer to 100,” Giants trainer Stan Conte said. … The Marlins won for just the fourth time in their last 21 games in San Francisco. … The Giants had their 34th consecutive sellout at Pacific Bell Park. … Florida improved to 19-9 against left-handed starters this season, including five straight victories. … In the seventh inning, a fan in the outfield bleachers reached onto the field and got a glove on Hammonds’ line drive to the left-center wall. The fan dropped the ball, turning a possible triple into a ground-rule double—and another fan, sittingtwo rows behind, got up and lectured the first fan on outfield etiquette.