Having disposed of the Miami Marlins’ ace right-hander on Friday night, the San Francisco Giants will attempt to feast on a young lefty when they go for a second consecutive home win on Saturday afternoon.
Mitch Haniger and Casey Schmitt, two right-handed batters who weren’t around when the Giants were struggling against left-handers earlier in the season, came through with big hits in San Francisco’s 4-3 win to open the series on Friday.
The hits — an RBI double by Haniger and a run-scoring single by Schmitt — came off reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara.
San Francisco’s big uprising — a three-run sixth — came immediately after the Marlins went up 2-1 with two of their own in the top of the inning.
Marlins manager Skip Schumaker, who was ejected in the eighth for disputing a timeout that was not called, credited the Giants’ bullpen after it threw 3 2/3 innings of one-hit, one-run ball.
“That’s a tough team. They have a good bullpen,” he said. “You want to have shutdown innings (once you take the lead). We didn’t, then we just couldn’t come back.”
After noting that Haniger’s hit, which opened the game’s scoring, set the stage for later team success, Giants manager Gabe Kapler was most impressed with Schmitt’s single. The rookie’s hit came with two outs and two strikes in the sixth and provided what turned into the difference-making run.
“Sandy is about as tough a customer as there is in the league,” Kapler said. “Big moment (for Schmitt), but he demonstrated in that big moment he can step up and get the job done.”
Haniger, who began the season on the injured list due to a strained left oblique, and Schmitt, who started the season in the minors, weren’t with the Giants when they lost two of three in Miami from April 17-19.
Haniger has hit .300 (6-for-20) against left-handers since joining the team on April 24, while Schmitt has bombed lefties for a .600 average (9-for-15) since his promotion on May 9.
Neither has ever faced Marlins left-hander Braxton Garrett (1-2, 5.40 ERA), who is scheduled to make the Saturday start as Miami seeks a fifth win in six games.
Garrett posted a 2.45 ERA in five April starts before struggling in his first two May starts, when he yielded 15 runs in 9 2/3 innings. He bounced back to limit the Cincinnati Reds to one run and three hits in five-plus innings during a no-decision on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Alabama native didn’t have much success in a June start against the Giants last season, his first and only head-to-head against them. San Francisco put up four runs against him in 3 1/3 innings en route to a 5-1 win.
Garrett not only will be matched up with a new-and-improved Giants lineup, one that has helped produce four straight wins, but he also must square off with San Francisco ace Logan Webb (3-5, 3.20 ERA).
Webb is 2-0 with a 1.66 ERA in three starts this month. He earned wins over the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals before taking a no-decision against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, when he tossed seven innings of one-run ball. He has allowed just eight runs in his past five starts.
Webb, 26, took the loss in a 4-3 defeat in Miami on April 17, charged with all four runs in 6 2/3 innings. He is 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in four lifetime starts against the Marlins.
–Field Level Media
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