David Phelps delivered another solid start.
But he was left regretting one pitch.
Two days after recording the first seven-hit game in the 133-year history of the Giants franchise, Brandon Crawford sent a changeup from Phelps soaring into the Marlins’ bullpen in the top of the fourth inning.
The solo home run was all the Giants needed to shut out the Marlins 1-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Marlins Park.
“Whoever said solo home runs don’t beat you is a liar,” Phelps said. “I’m telling myself not to walk him right there. It just happens when you tell yourself that and you throw it down the middle of the plate …”
Crawford went 9 for 16 in the three-game series against the Marlins (60-54) after going 2 for 4 on Wednesday. Crawford, an All-Star and National League Silver Slugger winner at shortstop, had been hitting .200 since the All-Star break.
“It’s not a surprise he hit like that in this series,” Phelps said. “He’s an All-Star-caliber player. He’s got that flat swing. He stays in the zone a long time. I wasn’t really commanding my fastball in there. If I was, it was probably where I would have gone at a 3-2 [count].”
A day after the Marlins won a pitcher’s duel with the Giants, their lack of scoring cost them first against Phelps’ college teammate at Notre Dame, Jeff Samardzija, and then the Giants’ bullpen, as they were held to five hits.
The Marlins were shut out for the fifth time since the All-Star break and eighth time this season, and dropped four of their six games this season against the Giants (65-49).
After scoring two runs in the first inning of Tuesday night’s 2-0 victory, the Marlins failed to score a run over the next 16, and have scored in only one of their past 24 innings.
“We just really couldn’t mount anything all day long,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We had a couple of good chances out there, but we just couldn’t get anything across.”
Samardzija went 5 2/3 innings, allowed three hits, walked three and struck out three.
Ichiro Suzuki collected two hits, including a ground-rule double in the bottom of the ninth off Santiago Casilla with two outs. J.T. Realmuto had his 11-game hitting streak snapped as he struck out to end the game.
Ichiro (3,002 career hits) moved past Roberto Clemente on the all-time hit list.
Phelps allowed only four hits, walked three and struck out five, and limited the damage on the scoreboard to Crawford’s solo home run. Phelps threw 91 pitches in five innings, but his only prolonged inning was the third.
After striking out Gregor Blanco and Samardzija to start the frame, Phelps gave up a single to Eduardo Nunez, who then reached second on his errant pickoff throw to first. Angel Pagan followed with a single and stole second. Phelps loaded the bases by walking Brandon Belt but survived the inning when he induced Buster Posey to ground into a fielder’s choice at second.
“I’m happy I gave my team a chance, but I’m not in it to lose games,” Phelps said. “The last two months I want to go out and get every [win] we can get. I just have to pitch better.”
The Marlins’ best scoring chance ended abruptly in the sixth inning with a controversial call by home-plate umpire Cory Blaser.
After Samardzija was replaced by reliever Will Smith, Chris Johnson struck out looking with runners on first and second and two outs on a pitch that appeared on replay to be noticeably outside the zone.
Johnson was visibly upset with Blaser. As Johnson walked back to the dugout, Blaser ejected Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds for also arguing the call.
Bonds stepped onto the field and continued to argue with Blaser following what was his first career ejection as a coach.
“Barry didn’t think it was a strike, and I didn’t think it was a strike,” Johnson said. “That’s baseball. It’s a lot less now with the replay, but human error is part of the game. You tip your cap, [Smith] put the ball where he wanted to, and he got the call. We move on.”
Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich strung together back-to-back hits in the second inning, but Dietrich was thrown out at second trying to stretch his hit into a double. Ichiro grounded out and Realmuto struck out, stranding Ozuna at third.