Giants 6, Marlins 4

Non-reviewable play costly for Miami Marlins in loss to San Francisco Giants

cspencer@miamiherald.comMay 16, 2014 

— Baseball’s new replay rules were designed to turn wrongs into rights. But the new rules don’t cover every play and situation. Just ask the Marlins.

They were burned not once, but twice on the same pivotal play in Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the Giants.

Not only did the umps appear to blow a call when Hunter Pence’s foot appeared to come in contact with the ball while still in fair territory — an out in the rulebook — but the Marlins couldn’t challenge the play because it’s not reviewable under the new replay rules.

“If we’re going to emphasize getting all the calls right,” Redmond complained of the new replay rules, which cover most — but not all — plays, “then we should get them all right, right?”

Whether that play decided the outcome is debatable.

But Redmond said it was undeniably “big” and had a direct bearing on the decisive inning, when the Giants came up with three runs in the fifth to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead.

“The aftermath of not getting that out was three runs,” Redmond said.

Here’s what happened:

With a runner on first and no outs, Pence hit a soft grounder along the first base line. As he was running toward first, his foot appeared to graze the ball in fair territory, deflecting it foul.

The umpires called it a foul ball.

“Nobody saw it,” Redmond said of the umpires. “They didn’t see him kick it. They thought it spun foul.”

But it was clear to everyone on the Marlins that Pence’s foot made contact.

“It took the bounce and I was waiting to field it as he ran by and he kicked it,” Eovaldi said. “It’s just unfortunate.”

Replays were clear and convincing. But the play could not be re-examined as it did not fall under any of the types of plays that can be reviewed.

“You can’t review it because it was foul ball and anything inside the infield, fair or foul, you can’t review,” Redmond said. “It’s kind of a gray area because they don’t have dedicated cameras on the foul lines. And that’s why those plays aren’t reviewable because they don’t have cameras. It would have been nice to review it because it was clear that the ball hit him and ended up being a big play.”

Hunter, given a second life, promptly singled, Buster Posey followed with a 2-run double, and the Giants chased Eovaldi before he was able to complete the inning.

And so the road woes continued for the Marlins, who have yet to win back-to-back games outside their home park.

Despite racing out to a 4-1 lead behind home runs from Derek Dietrich and Garrett Jones, the Marlins couldn’t keep the Giants in their rearview mirror.

Michael Morse hit a two-run homer off Eovaldi in the third to make it a 4-3 game, and the Giants took over for good in the controversial fifth.

It has not been a good trip for either the Marlins or Eovaldi, who lost both starts and failed to take the game into the sixth in either one. The Giants hit him hard, totaling nine hits — five for extra bases — in only 4 1/3 innings.

Despite possessing one of the majors’ fastest fastballs, Eovaldi finished with only two strikeouts and had trouble putting Giants’ hitters away.

While the kicked Pence ball garnered most of the attention, it was Angel Pagan’s leadoff at bat in the fifth that set the tone for the decisive inning. Eovaldi put Pagan in an 0-2 hole, but lost him on a walk when Pagan fouled off four two-strike pitches in what turned into a 10-pitch at bat.

Pagan ended up scoring the tying run — and Pence the go-ahead — on Posey’s double. Morse drove in his third run on a one-out single. After Eovaldi gave up a double to Tyler Colvin, he was lifted.

One night after scoring a season-high 13 runs in their romp over the Dodgers, the Marlins were quick to keep it going when Dietrich homered off Matt Cain in the first and Jones followed with a two-run shot in the third.

When the Giants elected to intentionally walk Giancarlo Stanton in the third, Casey McGehee made them pay by hammering a RBI double to right. But slumping Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out with runners at second and third, and Reed Johnson was retired on a fly ball to end what could have been a big inning for the Marlins.

Saltalamacchia went 0 for 4 on Thursday and has now gone hitless in his previous 26 at bats, 14 while striking out.

Stanton singled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to a career-long 17 games.

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