There was no quit in the Marlins in their four games with the Giants.
At least that's what they'd leave you to believe after overcoming a deficit for the fourth straight day. The only difference is that Thursday's outcome — a 6-3 loss to the Giants in 16 innings — didn't turn out in their favor.
After coming from behind once again, the Marlins finally ran out of gas in losing what was tied for the fifth-longest game in team history.
"For four straight games we've been fighting, clawing, getting back into it," said outfielder JB Shuck, who led the Marlins with four hits Thursday. "We didn't give up. Unfortunately, we weren't able to win that one."
After the Marlins tied it in the ninth, the teams battled through scoreless inning after scoreless inning before the Giants scored three runs in the 16th off Eieser Hernandez to avoid a four-game sweep.
Pablo Sandoval's bases-loaded single off Hernandez broke the deadlock and spoiled one more bid by the Marlins to rally from a deficit and win.
Having depleted his bullpen, manager Don Mattingly had no choice to but to leave Hernandez on the mound and hope for him to hang on for as long as he could. Hernandez gave him four scoreless innings before coming undone in the 16th.
"I was a little bit lost, and I was trying to find myself throughout the inning," Hernandez said.
Hernandez could have won it himself with the bat in the 13th when Giants manager Brian Bochy, knowing the Marlins had exhausted all their position players, had Starlin Castro walked intentionally to load the bases and bring up Hernandez, a pitcher who is without a major-league hit.
Hernandez made contact, bouncing a high-hopper toward the mound. But Giants reliever Ty Blach reached up to make the grab and throw to first for the final out of the inning.
"Batting's difficult but I had a chance to win the game," Hernandez said. "I thought I had a chance."
After reeling off three straight comeback wins to push the Giants to the brink of being swept, the Marlins had to settle for a series win before heading out on a three-city trip to Baltimore, San Francisco and Denver.
The Marlins won the first three games of the series after trailing in each. On Thursday, they fell behind 3-0 in the second inning and were down 3-2 in the ninth when the Marlins caught a break on second baseman Joe Panik's fielding error. Panik dropped the ball on Castro's pop fly along the right field line for a two-base error.
Castro advanced to third on a bunt and scored on Lewis Brinson's sacrifice fly, sending the game to extra innings. And it prevented Dereck Rodriguez from recording the win for the Giants with his father, Pudge Rodriguez, watching from a front row seat behind the plate all afternoon.
The 26-year-old rookie right-hander and Monsignor Pace High School graduate, who was making his third major league start, turned in a solid performance, leaving in the seventh inning with a 3-2 lead.
The Giants jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Andrew McCutchen’s two-run blast in the first and Mac Williamson’s solo shot in the second — both hit off Dan Straily.
JT Riddle’s homer off Rodriguez in the fifth and Bryan Holaday’s two-out RBI double in the seventh brought the Marlins to within a run. Then came the Marlins' unearned run off Hunter Strickland in the 9th.
The Giants had a chance to take the lead in the 11th when Brandon Crawford tried to score from first on Alen Hanson's two-out double. But Castro took the relay from Shuck and threw to the plate, where Holaday applied the tag.
The Marlins had the winning run at third with one out in the 15th. But Justin Bour grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Graves coming up?
The Marlins are expected to place Caleb Smith on the bereavement list on Friday, which would create room on the roster for right-hander Brett Graves.
Graves was a Rule 5 draft pick for the Marlins in December and must be placed on the roster by Saturday or returned to the Oakland A’s, his original club.
Mattingly has said Graves would be used out of the bullpen.
Smith is expected back for his next scheduled start. The Marlins are also expected to option right-handed reliever Ben Meyer to Triple A New Orleans, which would leave one more opening to fill.
Holaday extended his team-record streak of throwing out runners attempting to steal to nine in a row on Thursday when he threw out Williamson at second.
The major league record of 12 straight runners caught stealing by a catcher is shared by Mike LaValliere (1993) and Jose Molina (2008).