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Giants

Cain Struggles Early, Giants Lose To Marlins

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Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants.

Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants.

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — Ricky Nolasco pitched scoreless ball into the ninth inning and the Florida Marlins quieted the streaking San Francisco Giants with a 5-1 victory Tuesday night.

Gaby Sanchez had a three-run double and Mike Stanton hit his 11th home run of the season to help the Marlins snap the defending World Series champions’ nine-game home winning streak. San Francisco had won five straight overall to move into first place in the NL West.

Omar Infante had three singles and Sanchez finished with three hits to chase Giants starter Matt Cain (3-3) after six innings. Florida has won three of its last four games.

Nolasco (4-0) loaded the bases with one out in the ninth before Leo Nunez entered to get his major league-best 18th save this season. Nolasco struck out five and was charged with one run on seven hits.

The Marlins didn’t waste a chance to shine out West.

They were patient against Cain as he struggled with his command early, giving up four runs on six hits. He struck out four but tied his season high with three walks, and the Marlins took advantage of all the free passes.

Cain walked Hanley Ramirez and Logan Morrison with two outs in the third to load the bases. Sanchez followed with a bases-clearing double to right-center, giving Florida a 3-0 lead.

Stanton sent the first pitch of the fourth inning just over the center-field wall to put the Marlins ahead 4-0. Andres Torres seemed to be in position to make the catch, reaching up to snatch the ball only to have his glove hit the padding. Torres watched as the ball barely sailed over the 399-foot sign on the wall.

That was more than enough support for Nolasco.

The hard-throwing right-hander with the big breaking ball had hitters baffled almost from the start. Torres had a leadoff double in the first and advanced to third on a groundball two batters later before Buster Posey flied out to right.

San Francisco didn’t come close to scoring again until the ninth, when Aubrey Huff singled and Cody Ross hit a double. Nolasco walked Mike Fontenot before Nunez entered.

All the Giants could muster off the Marlins’ closer was a sacrifice fly from Miguel Tejada before Emmanuel Burriss flied out to right to end the game.

Nolasco challenged the quick-swinging Giants by pounding the strike zone with a combination of curves. He had innings of eight, nine and 10 pitches in a performance that was simply dominant.

The Marlins added another run in the eighth when Chris Coghlan had a leadoff double. Ramirez bunted him over, and Coghlan scored two batters later on reliever Guillermo Mota’s wild pitch.

After three straight no-decisions, Nolasco earned his first win since May 1 at Cincinnati. He also threw a two-hit shutout at San Francisco on Aug. 19, 2008.

NOTES: Giants LHP Barry Zito faced hitters for the first time since going on the disabled list April 17 with a sprained right foot. Between his bullpen session and the simulated game, he threw about 100 pitches. He is expected to pitch in extended spring training in Arizona later this week. … Marlins RHP Josh Johnson will do some light tossing Wednesday, the first throwing he’s done since being placed on the disabled list last week with right shoulder inflammation. … The Marlins recalled RHP Steve Cishek from Triple-A New Orleans and designated RHP Jay Buente for assignment. … Posey extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the seventh.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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