Marlins know how to win in San Francisco

Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- In a series of firsts for the Miami Marlins, one thing remains constant.
These guys just don't lose games at AT&T Park.
On a night when Logan Morrison hit his first home run of the season and A.J. Ramos posted his first career win, the Marlins rallied from behind to win a ninth consecutive game at AT&T -- the longest road streak in club history -- in a 6-3 victory on Friday night over the San Francisco Giants.
Morrison, who also tripled and drove in two runs, tried to explain how one of the worst teams in the National League could be so dominant on the road against a club that has won two of the last three championships.
"I don't know," he said. "I'm a baseball player. I'm not a psychologist."
Marcell Ozuna hit Jean Machi's first pitch into right field for a tiebreaking single with two outs in the eighth inning, triggering a three-run uprising that made the difference for the Marlins, who got 3 1/3 scoreless innings from four relievers.
The second of which was Ramos (1-2), who preserved a 3-3 tie by pitching a 1-2-3 seventh and then watched Ozuna and pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs get the key hits in a rally that made a dream come true.
"It's something I've wanted to do since I was a young kid," the rookie said of his first win, which earned him the team's second beer shower in two nights. Starting pitcher Tom Koehler was the recipient on Thursday night after his first career win.
Ozuna, whose first career pinch-hit produced Thursday's 2-1 win, sliced his difference-making single after Ed Lucas started the rally with a one-out single off Giants reliever Jake Dunning (0-1).
Dunning hit Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton on the right wrist to put two runners on base, but the Giants got a big out when left-hander Javier Lopez came on to strike out Morrison.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy then called on Machi with Ozuna at the plate and the rookie, who had driven in a run with a single in his previous at-bat, wasted no time putting the Marlins on top.
It was another eventful night for Ozuna, who butchered a fly ball that helped the Giants build their lead, but then threw out Andres Torres trying to stretch a double into a triple and had two RBI hits, including the tiebreaker
"I told him he had four or five In-And-Out burgers. That's probably why he couldn't catch that ball," Marlins manager MIke Redmond said of a two-out blooper by Hunter Pence in the fifth inning that eluded Ozuna and scored Buster Posey, giving the Giants a 3-1 lead. "But he came through with a big hit."
Dobbs followed with his RBI single that brought home Stanton, and when Giants shortstop Joaquin Arias threw wildly on Adeiny Hechavarria's infield single up the middle, Ozuna scored the inning's third run for a 6-3 lead.
Dan Jennings, Ramos, Mike Dunn and Steve Cishek worked spotless relief for Miami, with Cishek getting Posey to ground to third base as the potential tying run to end the game for his 12th save.
"When we go in there, it's not about winning; it's about keeping the score the same," Ramos said of the bullpen's mentality. "We all did that tonight. I got the win, but it's really about the team."
The win improved the Marlins' record to 10-8 in June after they'd totaled just 13 wins in the month the past two seasons. The Giants, 2-3 on their current seven-game homestand, are just 8-11 in June.
The Giants not only lost the game, but also left the ballpark uncertain about the status of their outfield.
Angel Pagan, who reinjured his left hamstring in an injury-rehab game in Stockton, Calif., on Thursday night, is pondering surgery. A decision is expected Saturday.
And adding injury to insult, Torres banged his right knee hard on the infield dirt sliding into third base in his unsuccessful test of Ozuna's arm in the sixth inning. X-rays were negative, but he's a big question mark for the final two games of the series this weekend.
"We just got to continue to play," said Gregor Blanco, one of the few Giants outfielders left standing. "The guys coming from Triple-A and coming from the bench, when they get the opportunity, they do well. It's amazing.
"That's the way we bill ourselves as a team and as an organization."
Torres had two doubles and a walk before leaving with the injury.
Neither starting pitcher factored in the decision, each leaving with the game tied 3-3.
The Giants' Tim Lincecum, seeking to end his two-game losing streak, was staked to a 3-1 lead through five innings but couldn't hold it, surrendering two runs with two outs in the sixth. He left after seven innings with eight strikeouts. He gave up four hits and walked one.
Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco, who entered the game unbeaten in four career starts at AT&T Park, got a no-decision after he was pulled in the bottom of the sixth inning with the potential tying run on third base. Lincecum's two-out triple prompted the pitching change.
Jennings struck out Blanco to retain the tie.
Nolasco allowed three runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out one.
NOTES: The triple by Lincecum was the second of his career. ... The Giants' Arias (11 games) and Posey (eight) both had hitting streaks snapped. ... The Giants have pencilled SS Brandon Crawford into Saturday's starting lineup. The All-Star candidate hasn't started a game since spraining the index and middle fingers on his right hand Tuesday night while sliding headfirst into second base. ... Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez, a key acquisition in the 11-play blockbuster trade with Toronto over the winter, is scheduled to make an injury-rehab start Saturday for Double-A Jacksonville. Alvarez has been on the disabled list since suffering inflammation in his right shoulder in spring training. ... San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a former high school pitching star, threw out the first pitch, gunning a high fastball that had Sergio Romo shaking his left hand after reaching far to his right to make the catch. ... Film director Francis Ford Coppola also attended the game.

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