Marlins 4, Giants 1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—A.J. Burnett’s teammates have been razzing him at every opportunity, helping ease the anxiety of trade rumors surrounding him day after day.
“These are crazy clowns in here,” Florida’s star pitcher said. “They ask me if I’m still here every day.”
The Marlins might just think twice about dealing him now. He hopes so.
“You hear a lot of things between starts, but you’ve still got to focus on the job,” Burnett said. “If it happens, it happens. Hopefully, I’ll stick around and see this team win.”
Juan Encarnacion added a two-run shot as Florida took two of three to win its first series in San Francisco since 1997, when the Marlins earned the NL wild card and won the World Series.
Cabrera led off the second with a drive to left, his 23rd homer and third of the series. He also had a fourth-inning single for Florida, which won 16-4 Saturday night in the team’s highest offensive output this season.
“I’m seeing the ball well and my swing is doing well now,” Cabrera said. “I hope to keep it going.”
Carlos Delgado singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 11 games as the Marlins concluded a 10-game road trip in impressive fashion.
Cabrera had quite a series in San Francisco, going 7-for-10 with five RBIs and six runs.
Burnett (7-6), whose name has come up in trade talk for weeks, won in his first outing at SBC Park since 2001 and hit his third career homer on the first pitch he saw from Kevin Correia (1-2) with one out in the third.
“He pitched a real fine game,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “I don’t think anything was bothering him.”
The Giants beat struggling lefty Dontrelle Willis on Friday night, then lost to Josh Beckett and Burnett, whom Giants manager Felipe Alou said “could be one of the best pitchers in the game and probably will be.”
Burnett got the Giants to ground into double plays in the first and second innings and retired eight straight batters during one stretch and 13 of the final 16 he faced. He didn’t allow an earned run, gave up six hits, struck out four and walked one in 7 1-3 innings.
Jim Mecir got Lance Niekro to ground into a double play to end the eighth with runners on the corners, and Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 18 chances. Florida turned four double plays, including one to end the game.
The Marlins have Monday off, then begin a grueling stretch of 21 games in 20 days—including a doubleheader with Colorado to make up games postponed April 27-28 because of weather. Their next off day is Aug. 15.
Correia’s 6 1-3 innings made for the longest outing of his career, and the 24-year-old right-hander earned himself another start.
“It’s the best I’ve pitched in four starts here, but the homers have been a problem the last three games,” said Correia, tagged for six homers in his last two starts. “I’m pleased with my pitching, but not with the result. San Diego has lost seven in a row and we have an opportunity to get back into it.”
The Giants planned to use either Correia—who has experience as a reliever — or Saturday’s starter, Brad Hennessey, out of the ‘pen next weekend in Milwaukee when demoted starter Kirk Rueter returns to the rotation. San Francisco needs a right-handed long man.
“He’s getting close to the pitcher we’ve expected,” Felipe Alou said of Correia. “He’s staying in the rotation.”
With 70-year-old Felipe Alou and the 74-year-old McKeon in the dugouts, it marked the first time in North American professional sports history that opposing teams both had managers or coaches 70 or older.
“Hopefully, we can be around when we hit our ’80s,” McKeon said with a hardy cackle.
Burnett’s homer was his fourth hit of the year and 28th of his career. He is 4-1 with a 1.69 ERA in five career starts vs. San Francisco. … Florida’s Juan Pierre stole his 31st base in the fifth. … Injured San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds celebrated his 41st birthday, but he wasn’t at the stadium. There still is no timetable for his return following three operations on his right knee since Jan. 31. … Giants SS Omar Vizquel got the day off. … The Giants activated CF Marquis Grissom from the 15-day disabled list before the game and placed OF Alex Sanchez on the 15-day DL with a sprained left elbow. … The waterfront ballpark sold out for the 16th time this year. … After the game, Giants RHP Jesse Foppert came off the DL and was optioned to Triple-A Fresno.