The Marlins appeared fated to end their five-game losing streak Saturday night against San Francisco.
Then the second inning started.
In a 5-3 loss, each of the three innings after Miami grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first brought another dose of misfortune.
In the second inning, Henderson Alvarez gave up two runs. A comebacker took him out of the game in the third. The Giants (54-43) then scored three runs on replacement Sam Dyson in the fourth frame thanks in part to a two-out, bases-loaded walk to opposing pitcher Tim Hudson.
Miami (44-52) managed eight hits off Hudson and the Giants bullpen after its three-hit first but did not score until the ninth, when a Giancarlo Stanton home run and Marcell Ozuna double was too late.
Following Friday’s 9-1 loss, manager Mike Redmond lamented the number of times his team faced early 4-0 deficits. Saturday’s 5-1 hole through four innings proved equally insurmountable.
“We were down early, and that’s tough sometimes to overcome those big leads, that big deficit,” Redmond said. “Give [Hudson] credit, he’s been around a long time. He knows how to pitch with a lead.”
Miami has now lost seven of eight and has been outscored 49-15 during that stretch. It has given up five runs or more in five consecutive games, the longest such streak since the second week of the season.
The first inning started with Alvarez using just nine pitches to send back the Giants’ first three hitters. Then Christian Yelich extended his hitting streak to 12 games, Jordany Valdespin singled in his first Marlins at-bat and Casey McGehee gave Miami its first first-inning run since July 6.
Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt responded with second-inning doubles and runs scored, but Marlins fans would be more worried about what happened in the top of the third, when a Joe Panik line drive bruised Alvarez’s left shin.
Alvarez needed help to limp off the field after gathering the ball and throwing it to first for the out.
X-rays were negative, and Redmond is optimistic that his No. 2 starter can make his next start.
“It got me between the bone and the flesh,” Alvarez said. “It got me pretty good, but, luckily, I’m fine. It’s just a bump.”
Alvarez has been the Marlins’ most consistent starter, posting an ERA more than a point lower than any other active starter on the team.
Dyson quickly got out of the third inning but ran into trouble a frame later. He hit Tyler Colvin and intentionally walked Gregor Blanco to get to Hudson before giving his counterpart a five-pitch RBI walk.
Colvin and Blanco then came around to score on Hunter Pence’s single. Dyson ultimately gave up four walks, four hits and three earned runs in 3 1/3 innings — his longest outing in 13 career appearances with Miami.
Alvarez’s injury forced Redmond to use four relievers after using five in Friday’s blowout loss.
“That’s huge; you get five innings out of two starters in your first two games after the All-Star break,” Redmond said. “We talked about trying to give the bullpen a break, and here we are.”
After the game, the manager hinted at bringing up another arm in the coming days to help a taxed bullpen.
In the ninth, A.J. Ramos posted a 1-2-3 inning in his first appearance since being reinstated Friday after a 15-day disabled list stint for right shoulder inflammation. He has not given up a run in a career-best 10 2/3 consecutive innings.
Stanton started the game 0 for 3 before hitting a second late-game home run in as many nights in the ninth. He now has just three hits in his past 25 at-bats, two of which are homers.
“Hopefully, that gets him going,” Redmond said. “We definitely need him; he’s the catalyst of our offense, so it’s good to see him have a couple big at-bats — a couple home runs.”
Marcell Ozuna doubled later in the ninth, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove him in to bring the tying run to the plate. But Adeiny Hechavarria lined out to right.