The San Francisco Giants are looking to continue their own success in Florida.
Pence will try to continue his tremendous production versus the Marlins and help the Giants build on their best offensive display of the season Saturday night.
Pence is hitting .394 with five extra-base hits and 10 RBIs in eight games. The right fielder kept that impressive stretch going by getting two doubles and a triple, while plating five runs and scoring three of his own to power San Francisco's 14-10 win over Miami in the opener of this three-game set. It was a season high for the Giants in scoring and hits (19) after they hit .226 with an average of 2.7 runs over the previous 12 games.
"It's one of those games, both teams are scoring, and we did a great job of adding on," manager Bruce Bochy said. "They scored and we came back. It's hard to stop an offense when they get on a roll and both teams got on a roll, so it was important that we kept adding on."
Pence and the Giants (54-67) may be in line for another big performance at the plate.
He owns a .393 average with five homers, 16 RBIs and a .768 slugging percentage over his last 14 meetings with the Marlins (46-74). That includes going 9 for 18 with five extra-base hits and nine RBIs in four visits to Marlins Park.
San Francisco is batting .335 with 40 runs over its past five games there.
Another offensive barrage may not be necessary with Matt Cain (7-8, 4.44 ERA) expected to get the ball. He's 2-0 with a 0.91 ERA over his last four starts on the road, a major difference from his 1-5 record and 5.66 ERA over his last seven home games.
The right-hander seemed headed for a win as host Sunday, tossing five scoreless innings before allowing three runs over the next two of a 10-2 loss to Baltimore.
A visit to Miami could be just what Cain needs to rebound. He's 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA in five career starts there, winning the most recent May 27, 2012.
The Marlins, owners of the NL's worst record, are on the verge of a four-game slide as host for the first time since May 21-30.
Henderson Alvarez (2-1, 3.18) will try to keep them from matching it in his first start against the Giants. The right-hander has won his last two home starts while allowing two runs in 13 1-3 innings.
He hasn't been nearly that sharp over his last two outings - both on the road - compiling a 4.85 ERA with no record. Alvarez matched his season high by giving up four earned runs in six innings while in a 9-4 loss at Atlanta on Sunday.
Justin Ruggiano has been hot over the last two games, getting three hits in each of them. He homered on two of his hits and drove in four runs Friday, and his only hit in three at-bats versus Cain left the park.
|San Francisco Giants|
|August 15, 2013||Sandy Rosario||Day-to-Day||Bruised sternum|
|July 31, 2013||Pablo Sandoval||Day-to-Day||Bruised right heel|
|July 30, 2013||Buster Posey||Day-to-Day||Ill|
|July 29, 2013||Tony Abreu||15-Day DL||Left knee bursitis|
|July 25, 2013||Marco Scutaro||Day-to-Day||Back soreness|
|July 21, 2013||Jeremy Affeldt||15-Day DL||Strained left groin|
|July 26, 2013||Kevin Slowey||15-Day DL||Right forearm discomfort|
|July 23, 2013||Marcell Ozuna||15-Day DL||Torn left thumb ligament|
|June 25, 2013||Justin Ruggiano||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|June 09, 2013||Casey Kotchman||60-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|June 09, 2013||Chris Coghlan||15-Day DL||Right calf irritation|
|May 27, 2013||Alex Sanabia||60-Day DL||Right groin discomfort|
MIAMI (AP) -- Pablo Sandoval credited his recent weight loss for his ability to beat out an infield hit that proved to be a turning point in the game.
Sandoval's pivotal RBI single started a four-run fourth inning to help lift the San Francisco Giants to a 6-4 win over the Marlins on Saturday night a day after they outslugged Miami 14-10.
"Great hustle, it probably won the game for us," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It kept the rally going."
It would have been the final out of the inning as Logan Morrison raced to the bag, but Sandoval made a head-first slide to beat the Miami first baseman and allow Brandon Belt to score.
"It worked, hustle," Sandoval said. "That's a good rally for us. You have to play like that no matter what situation. That's the guy that I am, I play hard every day no matter what the situation is."
Sandoval has lost 22 pounds in the past six weeks after hiring his older brother, Luis, to be his full-time chef. And when asked if he could have beaten out the play at first prior to his recent transformation, Sandoval responded with an emphatic, "No."
Following Sandoval's hustle play, Miami pitcher Henderson Alvarez (2-2) then balked home a run and Gregor Blanco tripled, driving in Sandoval and Roger Kieschnick for a 4-0 lead. Center fielder Jake Marisnick made a dive for the ball, but could not get a glove on it.
"Jake got aggressive trying to catch that fly ball in center and didn't catch it and it cost us a couple runs," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
The Marlins cut the deficit to 4-2 on a two-run home run by Giancarlo Stanton in the sixth off of Matt Cain (8-8), who allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings.
On the pitch prior to Stanton's home run, Cain threw a ball that brushed back Stanton, causing him to fall to the ground. After the game Stanton said the pitch hit him on the wrist, but had no way to prove it to home plate umpire David Rackley.
Stanton got up and responded with his 14th home run of the season, an estimated 446-foot blast to left-center field.
"I'll take it instead of a hit-by-pitch," Stanton said.
Cain wasn't happy with allowing the homer and struck out the next three batters.
"I was definitely heated," Cain said.
Sandoval drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth and Andres Torres hit an RBI single to push the Giants lead to 6-2.
"It's always important to get insurance runs," Bochy said. "It gives you a bigger margin of error."
Morrison hit a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth to pull the Marlins to 6-4.
Sergio Romo retired the Marlins in order in the ninth to record his 30th save in 34 chances.
"He made some great pitches hitting his spots tonight," Bochy said. "He's done a very well in that closing role."
Alvarez allowed four runs, four hits and four walks while striking out four in seven innings.
NOTES: Giants 2B Marco Scutaro left the game in the sixth with a tight lower back. ... Belt went 0 for 2, snapping his career-long hitting streak at 11 games. ... Marlins 3B Placido Polanco was given the day off after getting hit in the head by a pitch during Friday's game. "It looks like he's going to be OK," Redmond said. "Today is a day he just kind of takes it easy. Maybe he'll feel better (Sunday). He definitely dodged one there and I'm glad he's OK." ... Former Giants pitcher Guillermo Mota received his World Series ring before the game. "It's unbelievable," Mota said. "I just get excited when I see that ring. It's better than the last one." Mota, 40, has aspirations of returning to the Giants next season and believes he has two years left. ... Giants CF Angel Pagan (hamstring) went 0 for 1 for the rookie-level Giants on Friday in his first rehab assignment. "It went fine," Bochy said. "He's going to go five innings (Saturday), he had a couple of at-bats and had a lot of plays out in the outfield and is moving around well. First game went well for him." ... San Francisco LHP Madison Bumgarner (11-7, 2.73 ERA) will pitch Sunday's series finale against Miami RHP Tom Koehler (3-8, 4.62 ERA).