Giancarlo Stanton never before saw a ball vanish into thin air.
Stanton did Saturday, though, and it did more than possibly cost the Marlins their 10th consecutive win at AT&T Park. It also led to Mike Redmond’s first ejection as Marlins manager.
The Marlins dropped a 2-1 decision to the Giants on Hector Sanchez’s bloop single with the bases loaded in the 11th inning.
But it was the Giants’ other run that had everyone talking afterward.
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With two outs in the fifth and Barry Zito at first base, Gregor Blanco crushed a long fly ball to center that bounced off the warning track, kicked off the brick wall and then disappeared.
The reason: A fan seated in the arcade atop the wall reached out and grabbed the orb.
Umpires not only called fan interference (rather than a ground-rule double) but awarded the Giants a run, deciding that Zito would have scored from first.
Redmond was thrown out for arguing.
“I thought initially it was a ground-rule double,” Redmond said. “He called fan interference.”
Even so, Redmond thought umpires were wrong to award a run to Zito and the Giants.
“I didn’t think Barry Zito would have scored on that, from first,” Redmond said. “I don’t think the run should have scored. It’s their discretion.”
Said Stanton, who couldn’t figure out what had happened: “I saw it hit halfway up, and I looked up and it was gone. I guess [a fan] grabbed it in the air or something.”
Stanton, perplexed, threw up his arms.
“That wasn’t [a signal] for a ground-rule double,” Stanton said. “That was, ‘I have no idea what was going on.’ ”
Umpires said they saw it clearly.
“In my judgment, if the fan hadn’t touched the ball, Zito was going to score,” home-plate umpire Mike Winters said. “That was a no-brainer to me.”
Redmond spent the remainder of the game inside the clubhouse.
It was a largely quiet afternoon for the Marlins at the plate. After Ed Lucas connected on his first major-league home run in the first inning, the Marlins’ bats went silent against Zito and the Giants’ bullpen.
They were poised to strike in the 11th when Marcell Ozuna doubled to open the inning and Logan Morrison was walked intentionally by reliever Sandy Rosario.
But right fielder Hunter Pence made a diving catch on Placido Polanco’s sinking liner to end the inning.
The Giants loaded the bases in the 11th before Sanchez lofted a shallow fly ball to left that dropped in front of Justin Ruggiano and enabled the winning run to score. It was the second walk-off loss of the road trip for the Marlins.
“He just jumped it in,” said Ruggiano, who was too far from the ball to make a diving attempt. “If I dove for that ball, there’s no play for that. The only chance I had was to play it on a clean hop. But it was tough because it was spinning sideways.”
The loss for the Marlins was their first at AT&T Park since 2010 and ended a franchise-record run of nine consecutive wins at another team’s ballpark.
The game also extended another streak for the Marlins. All six of their games on the road trip so far have been decided in the eighth inning or later.
Jacob Turner started for the Marlins on Saturday and held the Giants to only the disputed run over seven innings. Zito, whose father died last week, also turned in a strong outing.
Lucas had three hits, including the historic homer.
Per his grandmother’s request, he dedicated the homer to his grandfather, who died last year.
“It was bittersweet,” Lucas said.