MIAMI — Pablo Sandoval credited his recent weight loss for his ability to beat out an infield hit that proved to be a turning point in the game.
Sandoval's pivotal RBI single started a four-run fourth inning to help lift the San Francisco Giants to a 6-4 win over the Marlins on Saturday night a day after they outslugged Miami 14-10.
“Great hustle, it probably won the game for us,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It kept the rally going.”
It would have been the final out of the inning as Logan Morrison raced to the bag, but Sandoval made a head-first slide to beat the Miami first baseman and allow Brandon Belt to score.
“It worked, hustle,” Sandoval said. “That's a good rally for us. You have to play like that no matter what situation. That's the guy that I am, I play hard every day no matter what the situation is.”
Sandoval has lost 22 pounds in the past six weeks after hiring his older brother, Luis, to be his full-time chef. And when asked if he could have beaten out the play at first prior to his recent transformation, Sandoval responded with an emphatic, “No.”
Following Sandoval's hustle play, Miami pitcher Henderson Alvarez (2-2) then balked home a run and Gregor Blanco tripled, driving in Sandoval and Roger Kieschnick for a 4-0 lead. Center fielder Jake Marisnick made a dive for the ball, but could not get a glove on it.
“Jake got aggressive trying to catch that fly ball in center and didn't catch it and it cost us a couple runs,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
The Marlins cut the deficit to 4-2 on a two-run home run by Giancarlo Stanton in the sixth off of Matt Cain (8-8), who allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings.
On the pitch prior to Stanton's home run, Cain threw a ball that brushed back Stanton, causing him to fall to the ground. After the game Stanton said the pitch hit him on the wrist, but had no way to prove it to home plate umpire David Rackley.