Marlins sweep defending champs

Aided by solid pitching, resilient hitting, and occasional aggression, the Marlins completed a sweep of San Francisco on Thursday night. The Fish kept pace with the Phillies this week, who won their series against the Reds an lead the Marlins by one game.

On Tuesday, Ricky Nolasco felt right at home in his native state working into the ninth inning against the Giants. He allowed just seven hits and earned his fourth win of the year. Gaby Sanchez and Mike Stanton provided their consistent young power again. Gaby cleared the bases with a double, one of three hits for him on the night, and Stanton bombed his 11th home run of the season. Leo Nuñez recorded his 18th save in 18 chances leading the league.

Wednesday night was pure blood and sweat combat as Chris Volstad and Madison Bumgarner dueled for six innings each. The Marlins got out to a quick 2-0 lead, which the Giants erased in the third. In the top of the ninth, and the Fish leading 3-2, Mike Stanton hammered a double into left center field to clear the loaded bases and bust the game open..for the time being. The Giants rallied back in the bottom of the ninth, capping the inning with Aubrey Huff’s two run single to center, tying the game. Leo Nuñez blew his first save of the year.

But the story of the night came in the top of the twelfth when Emilio Bonifacio hit a shallow fly to right field. Joe Espada’s aggressive base coaching style almost cost the Marlins a run when Scott Cousins tagged on the fly and did not beat the ball home. Buster Posey mishandled the hop as the ball bounced behind him, but stood vulnerable right in Cousins’ baseline. Cousins plowed over Posey, injuring the sophomore catcher. The run gave the Marlins a 7-6 lead, and Burke Badenhop pitched a scoreless 12th for his first save of the year.

Cousins remains shaken about the incident, not so much physically though. He said he didn’t sleep all night while he nervously awaited the status of Posey. Thursday night, news came out that there were torn ligaments in Posey’s ankle, which will most likely require surgery. He could miss the rest of the season, but there is no certain timetable for his return. The Giants currently lead the NL West by 1.5 games over Arizona. It should be fun to watch this summer to see how the division plays out.

As for Florida, they look to continue their winning ways against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Javy Vasquez will battle Jon Garland tonight in the opener. Vasquez is coming off his best start of the season, and needs to keep the Marlins’ momentum going. Mike Stanton has been hot, and the southern California native returns home tonight to Dodger Stadium. The Fish are a game and half back of the Phillies, who are coming off a three game, 37 inning series with Cincinnati. Look for more updates on Florida’s hot season!

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