Marlins let late lead slip away, fall to Giants in 9th
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mat Latos enjoys pitching in San Francisco no matter what uniform he’s wearing.
Now he wants to carry that feeling elsewhere.
Latos pitched a season-high seven innings, allowing a run and seven hits, but he has nothing to show for it except another no-decision.
Florida closer Steve Cishek walked in the tying run and then gave up a single to Matt Duffy and the Marlins dropped a 3-2 decision to the San Francisco Giants in Sunday’s series finale.
"It felt good, a fastball down and way but it was a stupid pitch," Cishek said. "I should have put him away with a slider. Now I’m second-guessing myself. I still should have executed the pitch better."
Latos, bothered by a bad knee until getting it drained just before the season started, struggled early but has things turned around.
"Having to come back from that, I didn’t have a great spring and I pushed that into the season," Latos said. "For some reason April doesn’t like me. It’s really about getting to the point of repeating."
Sticking to a strengthening program, Latos, who struck out five and did not walk a batter, has found his rhythm. He’s given up two earned runs over his past 13 1-3 innings. He also improved to 2-2 with a 1.62 ERA in seven career starts at AT&T Park.
"I threw the ball well," Latos said. "I didn’t really have an off-speed pitch and I was able to get away with a couple things. (Catcher) Jhonatan (Solano) knew that and set up in good spots for my fastball."
Coming off his first win of the season against Washington on May 5, Latos retired 14 of the first 18 batters.
The Giants had been quiet offensively most of the game until breaking out against Cishek (1-2), who had not allowed an earned run in 13 previous appearances against the defending World Series champs.
Cishek struck out Justin Maxwell to open the ninth before getting into trouble. Andrew Susac singled and Blanco doubled. Joaquin Arias pinch-ran for Susac and stayed at third when pinch-hitter Buster Posey was intentionally walked to load the bases.
After pinch-hitter Angel Pagan struck out, Cishek walked Nori Aoki to force in the tying run. Duffy, hitless in his previous four at-bats, followed with the first game-ending hit of his career.
"I can make a better pitch than that," Cishek said of ball four. "Especially when it’s 3-2 and the game is on the line. I didn’t make an adjustment there."
Miami, which missed a chance to reach .500 for the first time this season, took a 2-1 lead when pinch-runner Donovan Solano scored on a wild pitch by Giants reliever Sergio Romo with two outs in the eighth.
Pinch-hitter Justin Bour singled off Romo with one out in the eighth. After hot-hitting Dee Gordon doubled Bour to third, Romo struck out Martin Prado. The next batter, Ichiro Suzuki, hit a foul ball that nearly landed fair moments before Romo’s pitch skipped past Susac and rolled to the backstop.
Solano, who replaced Bour at third following Gordon’s hit, immediately broke for the plate and slid home to beat Susac’s throw to Romo.
Michael Morse, who spent last season with the Giants and received his World Series ring in a pre-game ceremony on Thursday, had been cheered every at-bat of the series until his ground-rule double off starter Ryan Vogelsong in the fourth drove in Christian Yelich to put Miami up 1-0.
Marlins: Gordon’s 54 hits through 29 games are tied for the third-most in history. Only Hank Aaron (60, 1960) and Johnny Frederick (55, 1930) had more.
Marlins: RHP Tom Koehler (2-3) pitches against the Dodgers on Monday and has allowed seven home runs this season, all of them to left-handed hitters.