Marlins top Giants with homers inside and out
MIAMI -- Dee Gordon's first home run of the season was an exhausting one, as the speedy second baseman delivered a three-run, inside-the-park homer that energized the Marlins in their 5-3 win over the Giants on Tuesday at Marlins Park.
Marlins Park opened in 2012, and Gordon became the first player to be credited with an inside-the-park home run. The liner to right-center went to the wall, came with two outs in the third inning off Ryan Vogelsong and put Miami in front, 3-1. Justin Bour added a solo home run, a no-doubt blast into the second deck in right field, in the third inning.
"It seems like every night Dee finds a way to provide that in some form and fashion," Miami manager Dan Jennings said. "When he starts to run like that, you look around the league, they're a few guys. But when he gets on the bases, special players have that extra gear."
Mat Latos gave up three runs (two earned) in six innings, improving to 3-5. Buster Posey blasted a solo home run in the third inning and doubled and scored on Latos' wild pitch in the sixth inning, pulling the Giants to within a run. Pinch-hitter Miguel Rojas restored the Marlins' two-run advantage with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
HR in a Flash: A lot of firsts happened in a span of 14.298 seconds in the second inning. On Gordon's inside-the-park shot, Statcast™ tracked the sprint around the bases at 14.298 seconds, with his top speed at 20.579 mph. The three-run liner was Gordon's fifth career homer and first via the inside-the-park route. It was the 16th inside-the-park homer by a Marlins player, with the most recent one before Gordon's coming from Cameron Maybin on May 31, 2010, against the Brewers.
"I kind of slowed down. I was, 'All right, I got a triple,'" Gordon said. "Then I looked up and [third-base coach] Lenny [Harris] was sending me. Then I hit another gear that I didn't have at the time. I was able to score."
Hopeful of rushing the ball to the infield before Gordon could score, Giants right fielder Gregor Blanco grabbed the ball Gordon hit at the base of the wall and flipped it to center fielder Angel Pagan, who reacted with mild surprise. It's anybody's guess whether the Giants would have been better off had Blanco relayed the ball himself.
In retrospect, Blanco said, "My chances to get it and throw it [while keeping Gordon on third base] were the same." More >
The art of the slide: Posey proved he knows a thing or two about baserunning. In the sixth inning, he slid headfirst to stretch a single into a double before plowing feet-first into home plate to score on Latos' wild pitch.
"I don't know if it's speed," Posey said. "Good baserunning," he suggested. More >
'Pen slams door: The Marlins bullpen combined for six strikeouts over three scoreless innings to secure the win for Latos. In the seventh inning, Steve Cishek got two quick outs, including a strikeout, before turning the ball over to Mike Dunn, who walked two, but struck out Joe Panik to end the threat. Carter Capps struck out the side in order in the eighth, and A.J. Ramos had one strikeout in a perfect ninth, picking up his 11th save.
"The bullpen did a tremendous job. Six punchouts, and we got three scoreless out of that bullpen," Jennings said.
Vogelsong's lament: Of all the pitches the Giants starter threw, the only ones that upset him were the ones that Gordon and Bour hit for homers.
"A couple of changeups that just stayed up," Vogelsong said. "The second one [that Bour hit] was worse than the first one. When you think about two [bad pitches] out of 88, that chaps you a little bit."
"I've got to pick up the power load, now that [Giancarlo Stanton] is gone. We're about the same size ... I'm just kiddin.'" -- Gordon joking about adding power with Stanton, the MLB home run leader, on the disabled list.
Giants: Chris Heston estimated that he'll be pitching before at least 20 friends and relatives -- besides those who simply buy their own tickets -- when he confronts the Marlins in Wednesday's rematch beginning at 4:10 p.m. PT. Heston hails from nearby Palm Bay.
Marlins: In the second of three games Wednesday, Dan Haren (6-5, 3.38) gets the start for the Marlins for the 7:10 pm. ET start. The right-hander is 1-0, giving up two runs in seven innings at San Francisco on May 7.
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