Melky Cabrera was too much for the Marlins.
Cabrera, the Major League leader in hits, added four more to his total Sunday as the Giants earned a series split with the Marlins in their 3-2 victory at Marlins Park.
“Melky was the one-man show this week,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. “He hit everything we threw.”
Cabrera went 4 for 4 with a home run, stole two bases and scored all three Giants runs.
For the series, he went 9 for 18 with five extra-base hits, three stolen bases and seven RBI.
Cabrera’s 73 hits are the most by a Giants player through the month of May since at least 1921, which is as far back as the records go for that particular stat.
“Not fun seeing him when he’s hot like that,” Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco said. “Not much you can do. He’s just hot right now. He’s hitting everything.”
The Marlins were hoping to tag one more loss on the Giants before turning their attention to a slate of nine upcoming contests against division rivals, starting Monday with the National League East-leading Washington Nationals.
By sweeping a three-game set against the Giants in San Francisco to start the month, the Marlins still won five out of seven against them to take the season series for only the fifth time.
Cabrera belted a solo shot off Nolasco in the first inning, singled and scored in the fourth, singled and scored in the sixth, and singled in the eighth.
With the Giants leading 2-1 in the sixth, Cabrera reached on a two-out single, followed by a Buster Posey double off the wall in center that just eluded Bryan Petersen.
“Thought I had a good read on it but came up a little short,” Petersen said. “Obviously it was a big situation.”
Said Nolasco: “I didn’t realize he hit it that good. “But the ball kept traveling.”
While Cabrera and Posey were fueling the Giants offensively, Matt Cain was in lockdown mode for the Giants on the mound.
The Marlins managed only one base runner through the first four innings.
The Marlins had a number of scoring chances late, but didn’t hit the jackpot with one big knock.
They scored once in the fifth off Cain and another in the seventh, but overall went 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position as Cain — and then the Giants bullpen — refused to cave.
And the Marlins were pulling out every trick in the book.
Logan Morrison foiled the Giants’ infield shift by bunting toward an unmanned third base in the fifth inning. He was successful, and, partly as a result, the Marlins scored their first run.
The Marlins also outmaneuvered the Giants in the ninth after Angel Pagan tripled to lead off the inning.
Suspecting the suicide squeeze, Marlins bench coach Joey Cora signaled for a pitchout, and Pagan was stopped dead in his tracks as he began charging down the line from third.
But it didn’t add up to a win for the Marlins, who are one victory shy of matching the franchise record for most wins in a month: 19 in August 1997. They sit at 18 with three games looming against the first-place Nats.
“Obviously, it’s a big series,” Guillen said.
“They’re in first place. They’re playing well. So are we.”
The Marlins dropped a pair of close (2-0, 3-2) decisions to the Nationals in April. But the Marlins were in the process of losing eight of nine games at the time.
“We weren’t hitting at all,” Guillen said. “Now we’re hitting a little bit.”
The Marlins have been successful outside the division, going 20-12 against teams from the other two divisions. But, within the National League East, they are just 4-9.
After the Nationals, they travel to Philadelphia for three games before returning home to face the Braves in another three-game set.