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Giants win in 11; Marlins manager has beef

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants finally beat the Miami Marlins at AT&T Park on Saturday afternoon, even if Marlins manager Mike Redmond refuses to acknowledge it actually happened.

Pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez blooped a single to left field to score Gregor Blanco with one out in the 11th inning as the Giants snapped the Marlins' nine-game winning streak in San Francisco in a 2-1 win that Redmond thought should have ended two innings earlier in a shutout victory for the Marlins.

Well before Hunter Pence's tie-protecting catch and Sanchez's third career walk-off hit, Redmond disputed San Francisco's first run of the game, which scored while a Giants fan in the right-field bleachers was clutching a live ball in his hands.

Batting with starting pitcher Barry Zito on first base and two outs in the fifth inning, Blanco belted a 400-foot bomb to right center off Marlins starter Jacob Turner.

The ball bounced hard on the warning track and nearly scaled the 20-foot brick wall. A double was ruled when a paying customer reached over the wall and snatched the high hop, resulting in fan interference.

The umpires ruled Zito, running on contact, would have scored if not for the interference, allowing the Giants to tie the score at 1.

Redmond did not agree.

"I didn't think Barry Zito should have scored," the manager said, with an emphasis on the pitcher's name. "That didn't seem to matter (to the umpire)."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy saw it differently. He thought the interference might have prevented an inside-the-park home run similar to the one by Angel Pagan that ended the Giants' win over Colorado on May 25.

Zito found middle ground, agreeing with the umpires.

"I think I was on third base," he said of where he stood at the point the fan grabbed the ball. "Even if (right fielder Giancarlo) Stanton catches the ball and throws home, I think I would have been safe."

Redmond argued vehemently with first-base umpire Mark Wegner and didn't leave the field until he had been thrown out. It was his first ejection of the season.

"I don't know if he would have scored from first," Redmond said of what he perceived to be an uncertainty that should have advanced Zito just the traditional two bases. "I've been ejected a few times (in the minors). You say your piece and move on."

Thanks to scoreless pitching by both bullpens starting in the eighth inning, the score remained 1-1 into the 11th.

After suffering two narrow defeats to the last-place Marlins to begin the four-game series, the Giants got the upper hand after Blanco led off the 11th with a single off the fourth Miami pitcher, Mike Dunn (2-2).

After a pitching change to Ryan Webb, Marco Scutaro sacrificed Blanco into scoring position, and he took third on Buster Posey's infield hit.

Pence was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up a potential inning-ending double play, but Sanchez foiled that strategy by flaring a hit in front of Marlins left fielder Justin Ruggiano for the winner.

Sandy Rosario (2-0), the fifth Giants pitcher, got the win well after Zito, pitching three days after the death of his father, Joe, completed his gutty performance.

After surrendering a solo home run to the second batter he faced, Ed Lucas, Zito didn't allow any more runs and just five more hits through the seventh inning. He struck out five and walked two.

"I'm doing all right," he said afterward. "I just try to minimize distractions. Some things are a little heavier than others."

The winning uprising came immediately after Pence had denied the Marlins a potential go-ahead run in the top of the 11th when he charged in to shoestring a sinking liner by Placido Polanco with two on and two out. Polanco was bidding for a fourth hit in the game.

"Obviously, you know what's on the line there," Pence said of his risky run at the liner. "I'm playing Polanco a little in and a little over (toward right center). He's made a living hitting a lot of balls that way. Fortunately, I was able to catch it."

The home run was a career first for Lucas, a 31-year-old Dartmouth product who made his major-league debut earlier this season after spending nine-plus seasons in the minors.

"Seems like the same thing every day -- pitch great and have a hard time scoring runs," Redmond said. "When Luke hit that home run, I thought we might score some runs. Give Zito credit."

Turner, making just his fifth career start, limited the Giants to one run and six hits in seven innings. He struck out two and walked one in his fourth consecutive no-decision since winning his major-league debut.

NOTES: The Giants have not lost three consecutive home games this season. ... The last Giants home win over the Marlins had been July 28, 2010. ... Lucas had 66 home runs in his minor-league career. ... Posey struck out in the ninth inning, ending a string of 41 plate appearances without a whiff. ... Pagan disclosed before the game that a new MRI taken on his left hamstring shows a small tear, one that might require surgery. He said he will get a second opinion -- probably early next week -- before deciding upon a course of action. ... Giants SS Brandon Crawford started for the first time since spraining his right middle and index fingers sliding headfirst into second base on Tuesday night. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. ... Giants OF Andres Torres was held out after having to leave Friday's game with a bruised right knee suffered while sliding into third base.

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