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SF can't capitalize on Stratton's quality start

Special to MLB.com

MIAMI -- Good things have happened this year for the Giants when Chris Stratton has taken the mound. They average 6.35 runs per game when the righty takes the hill, and they almost always win. But Marlins right-hander Trevor Richards flipped the script, earning his first Major League win in Miami's 3-1 victory over the Giants on Tuesday.

"They did a job on us," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Three hits, that's just not going to work. We had a hard time getting guys on base and getting something going, and that's the ballgame. Give them credit, they pitched well tonight."

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MIAMI -- Good things have happened this year for the Giants when Chris Stratton has taken the mound. They average 6.35 runs per game when the righty takes the hill, and they almost always win. But Marlins right-hander Trevor Richards flipped the script, earning his first Major League win in Miami's 3-1 victory over the Giants on Tuesday.

"They did a job on us," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Three hits, that's just not going to work. We had a hard time getting guys on base and getting something going, and that's the ballgame. Give them credit, they pitched well tonight."

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The Marlins have taken the first two games of this four-game series, beating the Giants for the 14th time in their past 21 meetings and ninth of 12 at Marlins Park. With the loss, the Giants' series-winning streak is snapped at three. The last time San Francisco lost a series was May 28-30 at Colorado.

Richards (1-3) pitched six innings of two-hit ball, limiting the Giants to just a lone first-inning run.

Stratton got the Giants' first hit off Richards, leading off the third with a line single up the middle. That was after they had staked him to a 1-0 lead in the opening frame. Walks to Joe Panik and Buster Posey, a wild pitch and a groundout from Brandon Crawford produced the run.

Video: SF@MIA: Stratton snags comebacker, turns double play

"First inning, we had them on the ropes," Bochy said. "After that, I was a little surprised, because of the way we've been swinging the bat. We just couldn't get anything going."

The Marlins answered with a three-run third inning. Stratton struggled in the frame, yielding three hits, a walk and a hit batter.

"I honestly made some pretty good pitches there," Stratton said. "Give them credit, they really battled. I think it was a good pitch to [JT] Riddle that he ended up hitting [for a two-run double]. They had some good at-bats, so you have to give them credit sometimes."

Stratton averted further damage by snagging a line drive off the bat of Miguel Rojas and flipping for the double play to third baseman Evan Longoria, who played in his 1,500th Major League game.

It was the second defensive gem of the inning. Hunter Pence made a diving catch in left field to rob J.T. Realmuto of a hit.

Video: SF@MIA: Pence makes run-saving diving catch in 3rd

Bochy was looking to get some length from his starter, hoping to give his overworked bullpen a break. Giants starting pitching has only thrown 23 quality starts this season, among the fewest in the Majors.

Bochy got that out of Stratton (7-4), who worked seven innings, allowing three runs on four hits. He struck out three and walked three (one intentional). Stratton became just the second Giants starter in the past 34 games to go at least seven innings.

"You get a good start like that, you hate for it to get away from us. But it did," Bochy said.

But the offense wasn't there, mustering just three singles, and the Giants fell to 10-4 on the season with Stratton as their starting pitcher.

"That's all part of it, it's just baseball," Stratton said. "We kind of hit a rut here in these first two games, but we've got a chance to still split the series. So that's how we need to think, and just take it one game at a time."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With one out and runners at second and third, Crawford hit a screamer to the right of Riddle. The Marlins' shortstop made a nifty stab and threw to first for an out. It scored the Giants' only run of the game, but it could have opened the door for a big inning if not for the sparkling defensive play by Riddle, who would later deliver a two-run double in the third inning that made the difference in the game.

Video: SF@MIA: Crawford plates Panik on RBI groundout

"Occasionally, you're going to get shut down in this game," Bochy said. "You're going to run into a pitcher that pitches a good ballgame. Their guy did. That's baseball. The guy on that mound, he can determine what happens. That's what happened tonight."

SOUND SMART
Of Longoria's 1,500 career games, 1,409 were played at third base. He ranks third among active third basemen in games played at the hot corner behind Adrian Beltre (2,717) and David Wright (1,571).

HE SAID IT
"We have the team, nothing to worry about. Tomorrow we come in to fight and win the game, and next day, same thing to tie the series." -- Gorkys Hernandez, on the Giants' mindset for the final two games of the series

UP NEXT
Andrew Suarez returns to his native Miami to pitch for the Giants on Wednesday in a 4:10 p.m. PT start. Suarez was born and raised there and played for the University of Miami before embarking on his Major League career. Suarez has not faced the Marlins in the big leagues, but he pitched against them in college in a 2012 exhibition game at the opening of Marlins Park. Miami counters with right-hander Caleb Smith, who has never faced San Francisco.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.

San Francisco Giants, Brandon Crawford, Chris Stratton