The Giants’ current nemesis: Marcell Ozuna. After Sunday, Justin Ruggiano now belongs in that group too.
Ozuna’s solo shot in the ninth inning expanded the Marlins’ lead, and Ruggiano’s second home run of the afternoon secured Miami’s third win of the series.
Jean Machi’s disastrous ninth inning turned a close game into a five-run deficit for the Giants’ offense. His collapse included Ozuna’s solo shot, which opened the ninth. Machi then allowed a single with one out, and with two outs, Greg Dobbs’ RBI double expanded the Marlins’ lead to 4-2. Ruggiano supplied the knockout punch with a two-run homer.
The Giants’ eight-game power outage was snapped, but that was one of the very few bright spots for Bruce Bochy’s ball club on Sunday.
After the Giants managed just two soft hits through five innings against Nathan Eovaldi, they couldn’t capitalize on two scoring chances in the later innings.
Pinch-hitting, Tony Abreu blooped a ball down the left field line to lead off the sixth inning. Justin Ruggiano’s diving effort to corral Abreu’s bloop hit failed, as Abreu coasted into third base. After Gregor Blanco struck out, Marco Sctuaro’s one-out grounder plated Abreu to cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-1.
With revived hope, Pence’s solo shot trimmed the lead to one, and a walk to Brandon Belt prompted manager Mike Redmond to replace Eovaldi with Dan Jennings, a hard-throwing southpaw. Brandon Crawford watched a pair of low fastballs go by before Jennings came back to induce a strikeout on a 3-2 challenge fastball.
Andres Torres didn’t waste any time picking up his teammate. He rocketed a line drive off the third baseman Ed Lucas, and the high reflection enabled Belt raced to third from first base. However, Joaquin Arias grounded into a double play to kill the momentum.
Matt Cain wasn’t aided in the runs department or in the defensive department. Cain’s second pitch of the game was launched into the left center field bleachers by Ruggiano, and Ozuna shot an RBI to the left field wall in the fourth. The generally sure-handed Brandon Belt let Logan Morrison’s softly hit line drive sneak under his glove, allowing a run to score.