SAN FRANCISCO -- By Bruce Bochy's count, the Giants still owe the Marlins some retribution. However, the Giants will accept victories as a sufficient form of baseball justice.The number of Giants batters struck with pitches by Marlins hurlers -- Evan Longoria last Thursday, Kelby Tomlinson on Monday and Buster Posey
SAN FRANCISCO -- By Bruce Bochy's count, the Giants still owe the Marlins some retribution. However, the Giants will accept victories as a sufficient form of baseball justice.
The number of Giants batters struck with pitches by Marlins hurlers -- Evan Longoria last Thursday, Kelby Tomlinson on Monday and Buster Posey on Tuesday -- started to annoy Bochy, San Francisco's manager. But the Giants' 6-3 triumph over the Marlins on Tuesday calmed Bochy somewhat.
"This has been going on for over a hundred years," Bochy said of the mutual purpose pitches. "What's important is you don't let it distract you."
Indeed, the Giants concentrated admirably. Starter Dereck Rodriguez (2-1) allowed three runs but walked none and struck out six in five innings. The bullpen shouldered another oversized load, as four relievers combined to surrender one hit. Sam Dyson, who likely will serve as the primary closer now that Hunter Strickland's sidelined after punching a door, coaxed a double-play grounder to record the save. Posey and Gorkys Hernandez homered. Alen Hanson and Hernandez each collected three hits.
"These guys kept their focus and won a ballgame. That's what's important," Bochy said.
The teams never came close to engaging in a full-fledged beanball war, but tensions rose after Rodriguez hit Miami's Lewis Brinson with a pitch in the second inning. Brinson lined a key single during Miami's go-ahead three-run rally in Monday's ninth inning; some Giants apparently believed the Marlins center fielder celebrated a tad too much. Strickland exchanged words with Brinson as he left the field. So it wasn't a surprise when Brinson became a target in Tuesday's second inning.
Rodriguez indicated with a straight face that he wasn't trying to hit Brinson.
"Runners on second and third, with less than two outs, I don't want to give him a sac fly," Rodriguez said. "So I was trying to go in and it just ran too much and got him. It happens."
Plate umpire Andy Fletcher warned both teams against escalating the hostilities. That admonishment fell on deaf ears, as Marlins starter Dan Straily hit Posey during the second inning.
• Marlins, Giants exchange HBPs; Straily ejected
Asked if he was drilled in retaliation for Brinson, Posey said, "I don't know. It sure seemed that way."
Spawned by a report on the Giants' telecast, speculation spread that Marlins manager Don Mattingly threatened Posey after Brinson was hit.
"As you guys know, I wouldn't talk about that," Posey said. "But no, he didn't."
Said Fletcher, "We never comment about anything said on the field."
Bochy still sounded suspicious.
"I don't know what happened when he [Mattingly] came out," Bochy said. "I guess he was upset at the warning and said something about, 'Well, if not tonight, tomorrow.' I guess they thought they had to do something.
"There's a little fuzzy math going on when I have my third baseman on the DL for eight weeks and a guy [Tomlinson] gets hit in the back last night."
Opponents have one hit in their last 25 at-bats against Giants left-hander Will Smith, who has recorded 11 of his last 15 outs via strikeout.
HE SAID IT
"It's unfortunate. I've known Hunter for a long time now and part of what makes him good is his fire. Unfortunately, he made a bad choice. Knowing him, I know nobody feels worse about it than he does. But the reality of it is that we're going to suffer a little bit because of it, and unfortunately for him, too. It'll be a couple months before he's out there." -- Posey, on Strickland's absence
Classic daytime baseball agrees with Derek Holland, who's scheduled to start Wednesday's 12:45 p.m. PT series finale against Miami. The left-hander owns a 3-1 record with a 2.01 ERA in four day games, compared with 1-6, 5.58 in 10 starts at night. Overall, the Giants have won six of Holland's last 10 starts. He'll be opposed by Marlins right-hander Jose Urena.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.