Bolstered by Hunter Pence's five RBIs, Hector Sanchez's three-run homer and Pablo Sandoval's three runs driven in, the Giants outslugged the Marlins, 14-10, on Friday night in the highest-scoring game in Marlins Park history.
The game was a softball-like slugfest from the start. The Giants grabbed a seven-run lead through two innings and led 12-5 in the fifth inning before Miami made things interesting.
San Francisco's runs were a season high. The 14 runs and 19 hits by the Giants are the most given up by the Marlins this season.
The huge offensive outbreak was turned in by two of the lowest-scoring teams. The Giants rank 25th in the Majors in runs, compared to Miami, which is last at 30.
"It was crazy," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "For us, this year, to score 10 runs and lose that ballgame is kind of hard to believe. We haven't had a game like that all year where we just were not able to stop the other team. That was kind of the case tonight. We tried everything to slow them down, and we couldn't do it."
The series opener drastically differed from when the Marlins took three of four at San Francisco from June 20-23. In that series, Miami's pitchers allowed eight runs total.
Yet the Marlins showed tremendous resolve. Justin Ruggiano, coming off the bench, had two home runs and four RBIs. Christian Yelich and Donovan Solano each added three hits, and the Marlins knocked Giants starter Chad Gaudin out after four-plus innings and eight runs.
Ruggiano enjoyed his second multi-homer game of the season, with his other coming at AT&T Park in San Francisco on June 23. For the season, Ruggiano is 6-for-17 with four homers, seven RBIs and six runs scored against the Giants.
Prior to Friday, all 12 of Ruggiano's homers came on the road, which tied Derrek Lee in 2000 for a Marlins club record to open a season before going deep at home. And it's been a strange turn of events for Ruggiano, who had been in an 0-for-42 slump before collecting three hits Wednesday at Kansas City.
"Big night for him," Redmond said. "It's crazy. He had an extended slump and then has a big day. Maybe he's catching fire and will be able to finish the season strong."
There was a scary moment in the eighth inning when Placido Polanco was pegged on the back of the head by a 94 mph Santiago Casilla fastball. Ed Lucas pinch-ran for the veteran third baseman, who walked off the field.
After being examined, the Marlins are confident Polanco will be fine. He didn't show any concussion-like symptoms.
Miami trimmed its deficit to 12-9 after a four-run fifth inning.
The previous high for runs at Marlins Park was 21, on May 24, 2012, when the Giants beat Miami, 14-7. The combined 35 hits also is a high at Miami's two-year-old stadium, topping the 29 while facing the Mets on May 12, 2012.
"We kept climbing back, but we just couldn't hold them at bay," Redmond said. "They've got a pretty good middle of that order."
In his worst career start, Eovaldi tied an infamous Marlins record by allowing 11 runs (nine earned). Ricky Nolasco previously gave up 11 runs against the Rockies on Aug. 17, 2011. All those were earned. It's the seventh time a Marlins pitcher has allowed at least 10 runs.
"It's exciting to see the offense respond to all the runs," Sandoval said. "We give four runs, we answer back. It's one of the best days I've seen from the offense."
All season Eovaldi has been highly effective, sporting his 98 mph fastball. But the way he was rocked, giving up 12 hits, had the Miami dugout wondering if the right-hander was tipping his pitches.
"Obviously, everything they hit, they hit hard," Redmond said. "They laid off some of his breaking balls and squared up some of his fastballs."
Redmond and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez discussed during the game the possibility of the Giants detecting something from the 22-year-old.
"It looked like they knew what was coming," Redmond said. "We'll have to check the video and see if maybe he wasn't tipping his pitches or something. Tonight, they were on everything."
Eovaldi did check the video, and he didn't feel he was letting on what was coming.
"I looked at the video, and I didn't see anything that I was tipping my pitches," the right-hander said. "They were working the counts real well, and I felt I was locating a majority of my pitches in the first inning, and just tip your cap. They put hits together and hit the ball well."
Making the night even more flabbergasting for Eovaldi is the fact he had not received as much as one run of support while in the game in five starts. Ironically, it was Eovaldi himself who snapped the streak that lasted since July 12 against the Nationals.
"It's all right," Eovaldi said of the swing of no support to plenty. "We showed tonight we could come back. We were battling. We came back a couple of times tonight. Ruggiano came up huge tonight. It's good."