O’Grady wins debut for Marlins 5-4; Giants ninth inning come back falls a run short

Hitting a double deep into left, Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) in the fifth inning, during a MLB baseball game between the Miami Marlins and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. Valerie Shoaps/CSM (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-It seems that the new Achilles heel for the San Francisco Giants is the first inning.

Thru the first two games of the series, the Miami Marlins have scored six runs and the two runs that they scored against Jeff Samardzija held up, as they defeated the Giants 5-4 before a crowd of 41,480, the 529th consecutive regular season sellout at AT&T Park.

Dee Gordon led off the inning with a single, went to second on a Giancarlo Stanton ground out and then scored the only run that the Marlins would need on the night, as he scored on a Christian Yelich double. Marcell Ozuna then singled in Yelich to give the Marlins two runs before the Giants even came to the plate.

Chris O’Grady, who was signed to a minor-league contract by the Marlins after he was released by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitched admirably in his major-league debut. O’Grady went 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, while walking two and striking out four.

O’Grady was pulled by Marlins manager Don Mattingly in the bottom of the sixth inning, after he allowed a double to Buster Posey with one out and then Brandon Belt followed up with a double of his own to score Posey from second base. Crawford added an RBI in the frame, as he cut the Marlins lead down to one, as he grounded out to score Belt.

The Marlins added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning, as George Kontos unleashed a wild pitch that scored JT Riddle from third base. Riddle led off the inning with a double over the head of Denard Span in centerfield.

Despite trailing by two in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Giants tried to mount a comeback, as Crawford walked to lead off the inning, Miguel Gomez struck out for the first out of the inning, then Conor Gillaspie hit a single that sent Crawford to third base. After the Gillaspie single, Span struck out for the second out of the inning to bring up Joe Panik, who singled to score Crawford.

Unfortunately, the comeback up short, as Hunter Pence struck out against closer A.J. Ramos to end the game.

Samardzija went seven innings, as he allowed four runs on nine hits, walking one and striking out five, as he saw his modest two-game winning streak come to an end.

The leadoff walk to Gordon in the top of the seventh inning by Samardzija was the first walk he allowed since June 16, when he walked D.J. LeMahieu of the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The walk ended a streak of 25.1 innings without a walk.

Justin Bour extended the Marilns lead up to 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning, as he took a Samardzija pitch and put it into the left-field seats, an opposite field home run, his 20th of the season.

The Giants broke thru against O’Grady in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Belt doubled and then after Jae-Gyun Hwang popped out for the second out of the inning, Brandon Crawford singled in Belt.

Stanton got in on the act in the top of the fifth inning, as he doubled to left field and then scored on a Ozuna’s second hit of the game.

Ichiro Suzuki bunted for an out in the top of the ninth inning, while pinch hitting for reliever David Phelps.

NOTES: Johnny Cueto will take the mound on Sunday afternoon in the series finale, while the Marlins will counter with Jose Urena, who is looking for his eighth win of the season.

Prior to the game, Barry Bonds became the 49th Giants to be honored on the teams’ Wall of Fame in front of AT&T Park on the King St. side of the ballpark.

Bonds, who played for the Giants from 1993-2007, hit a major-league record 762 home runs in his 22-year career with both the Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-1992) and the Giants.

Austin Slater was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right groin, and to replace Slater, the Giants have recalled Mac Williamson from Triple-A Sacramento.

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