The Marlins can’t match the Giants in number of World Series titles.
But they’ve got their number in the Giant’s home ballpark.
With their 7-2 victory on Thursday, the Marlins improved to 14-5 at AT&T Park since 2010, the season the Giants began their every-other-year run of Series success.
“Our guys really like playing here for whatever reason,” said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. “It’s a great atmosphere. It’s cool, which is completely different for us. But it’s just a fun place to play.”
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Fun was not in short supply for the Marlins on Thursday.
And it was Dan Haren who continued to make the team’s trade with the Dodgers over the winter look like a work of genius, at least in the early going. While Dee Gordon has hogged the spotlight with his sensational start, Haren has quietly made the deal look even better.
Haren didn’t just become the first Marlins pitcher to reach four wins with his work on the mound Thursday. He also put his bat to good use with a couple of hits, including a big two-out double in the second that put the Marlins on top.
Gordon said he even told Redmond before Haren’s first at bat to watch out, that Haren could hit.
“Haren was about to get up, and I said, ‘Red, Haren rakes the National League West,’” Gordon said. “And he laughed. Then double. And then a single. He believes me now.”
The Marlins, remember, weren’t even sure Haren wanted to play for them after he threatened retirement if he was traded away from the West Coast. But the pull of a $10 million paycheck was too great to pass up, and now Haren is showing no signs of being unhappy.
To the contrary.
He’s only been the Marlins’ best starter so far, going 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA in six outings.
“I haven’t struck out too many guys this year,” said Haren, who whiffed only three batters on Thursday. “I’ve been fortunate, with the good defense we’ve had, to turn balls in play into outs. I didn’t walk anybody today. I didn’t walk anybody the last time. That’s what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to minimize base runners.”
On the trade that brought Haren and Gordon to Miami, Haren had this to say: “When you get traded, you always want to prove to the team they did you wrong. I think (Gordon) probably feels pretty good about that. I’ve been traded a lot of times. The Dodgers paid me to go away, so....”
On Thursday, Haren took a shutout into the seventh before the Giants finally broke through with two runs. But the Marlins had already built a 6-0 lead, racking up 15 hits against Tim Hudson.
They were the the most hits ever allowed by Hudson over his 463 career major league starts. Had he given up one more hit, Hudson would have matched a Giants franchise record for a pitcher.
Haren wasn’t the only Marlin doing damage with his bat.
There was Gordon, as usual, coming through with three more hits and raising his major-league leading average to .437. Gordon became the first player since Rod Carew in 1983 to have as many as 52 hits through his first 28 games of the season.
“Kind of hard to put yourself in that category,” Gordon said. “I’m just trying to help us win on a daily basis. That’s my main focus.”
There was Marcell Ozuna, who ended a power drought with his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh.
There was slumping Michael Morse, who produced a pair of singles on what was his homecoming to San Francisco. Morse, a member of the Giants last season, received his World Series ring in a pre-game ceremony at home plate.
Martin Prado had three hits. Adeiny Hechavarria and Giancarlo Stanton each had two, as the Marlins’
“Everybody was swinging the bat well,” Gordon said.
Gordon caused a brief scare after scoring from second on a Stanton single. Gordon didn’t slide, instead stepping across the plate awkwardly and then limping into the dugout.
But he returned to his position in the ninth and said afterward he felt fine.