MIAMI (AP) -- Back home to begin their biggest series so far this
season, the Florida Marlins wanted a good start. Seven runs in the
first inning did the job.
Alex Gonzalez hit a three-run homer in the first, and Mike
Lowell drove in five runs Tuesday to help Florida beat the San
Francisco Giants 9-1.
The defending World Series champions won for the eighth time in
11 games and pulled within four games of the Giants, who fell one
game behind NL wild-card leader Chicago. Florida remained five
behind the Cubs.
"We did everything we needed to do," Lowell said. "It's big
to set the tone for the series. Every game is big from here on
A.J. Burnett (4-6) allowed just two hits -- both singles by
Edgardo Alfonzo -- and one run in seven innings. Throwing at up to
100 mph, he walked four and hit a batter, and the Giants' only run
scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch.
"When you're down 7-0 in the first inning, the game is pretty
much over with Burnett pitching," Giants manager Felipe Alou said.
Returning to Miami after a 7-3 trip, the Marlins climbed three
games above .500 for the first time since July 1. They're chasing
San Diego, as well as Chicago and San Francisco, in the wild-card
"We've got to do our own work," manager Jack McKeon said. "We
can't worry about anyone else."
"We just worked a lot of pitches," Lowell said. "Guys fouled
off a lot of tough pitches, and when we got our pitch we put it in
play hard. I don't think he really was terrible."
Franklin threw 50 pitches and retired only two batters -- a pace
that would've required 675 pitches for a complete game. Instead, he
departed after facing 10 batters, trailing 7-0.
"It's the first time I've ever been knocked out of the first
inning, and hopefully it will be the last," Franklin said. "It
will humble you real quick. You have to tell yourself that you're
not that bad."
"You wish the inning will hurry up and get over with," Alfonzo
Burnett walked Barry Bonds twice, including with a 7-0 lead in
the third. Bonds has walked 12 times in five games against Florida.
The Giants scored in the third on two walks, a single and a wild
Lowell's home run made it 9-1.
"That's the way we played last year -- we got the lead early and
played add-on," McKeon said.
The game was delayed at the start for 51 minutes because of
rain. ... Alfonzo improved his average against Burnett to .533
(8-for-15). ... Throwing out the first pitch was Florida Atlantic
football coach Howard Schnellenberger, who led the Miami Hurricanes
to the national championship in 1983. ... The game was the 100th
between the teams. San Francisco leads the series 63-37.
MLB free-agency tracker: Latest moves, grades and analysis
Need to keep tabs on all the major signings? Want to know how our experts grade the big deals? We've got you covered.
What happens to Marcus Semien's fantasy value in Texas?
Tristan H. Cockcroft explains the fantasy implications of Marcus Semien signing as a free agent with the Texas Rangers.
Kevin Gausman's best moments from the 2021 season
Check out the best highlights from Kevin Gausman's 2021 season as he signs a 5-year deal with the Blue Jays.
Kevin Gausman finds new home, agrees with Toronto Blue Jays on $110 million contract, sources say
Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman, a key component to the San Francisco Giants' rotation last season, agreed to a five-year, $110 million deal Sunday with the Toronto Blue Jays, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan.
MLB free-agency grades: Texas Rangers bet big on their future with Marcus Semien signing
Marcus Semien inked a seven-year deal with a Rangers team that won 60 games last year. Will they turn it around in time to take advantage of Semien's prime?
Minnesota Twins, Byron Buxton find perfect balance in incentive-laden deal
Buxton was one of the best players on the planet last season when he wasn't on the injured list. It's for that reason that his $100 million extension is a gamble, but a worthy one.