Giants Go For 4th Straight Win and First Sweep of Marlins Since 2003 Print
Monday, 20 August 2007 02:52
MLB Headline News

Giants Seek Rare Sweep

The last-place San Francisco Giants look to complete their first series sweep in nearly three months when they close a four-game set against the Florida Marlins at Dolphin Stadium on Monday.

The Giants (54-70) lost 12 of their first 16 games in August, but have rebounded with four straight victories - matching their longest win streak since a season-high eight-game run April 18-26.

Brad Hennessey has earned three straight saves and San Francisco pitchers have posted a 2.67 ERA to win the first three games of this series. The Giants haven't swept an opponent since a three-game set against Houston from May 21-23, and they haven't swept a series in Miami since May 6-8, 2003.

The Giants blew a three-run lead on Sunday, then nearly squandered another before hanging on for a 6-5 victory. After Florida came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the fifth inning, San Francisco took advantage of three Marlins errors in the seventh, scoring three unearned runs.

It was the Giants' second consecutive one-run victory after a 3-0 win in the series opener.

"In this game part of it is getting breaks and a little luck," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "The last couple games it's gone our way."

Barry Bonds sat out Sunday's day game because he had played the previous night, but is expected to return to the San Francisco lineup for Monday's finale. Bonds, who added to his record total with his 760th career home run on Saturday, has two homers in 15 at-bats versus Florida this year.

The Marlins (56-68) have lost five straight games - one shy of their season high, which they've reached twice. They snapped their most recent six-game skid with an 8-5 win at San Francisco on July 29.

Oddsmakers from Bodog.com have made Florida -162 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 10 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 78% of bets for this game have been placed on Florida -162 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Sunday's loss was particularly hard to take for manager Fredi Gonzalez, who was ejected for arguing a called third strike before his club's defensive collapse.

"I think that was probably one of the worst innings we've ever had defensively," said Gonzalez, whose team has a major league-high 102 errors this season. "You keep giving outs to the other team, they're going to put a number up on the board. It was frustrating, even watching on TV."

Marlins starter Sergio Mitre (5-6, 3.82 ERA) tries to put his second-half struggles behind him. The right-hander had a 2.85 ERA in 15 starts before the All-Star break, but has posted a 5.58 ERA in seven outings since.

He was reached for five runs and 10 hits in six innings on Wednesday to suffer the loss in Florida's 9-6 defeat against Arizona.

Mitre is 1-0 with a 5.87 ERA in two career games, including one start, versus the Giants.

He'll face Russ Ortiz (2-3, 5.20), who is 9-5 with a 3.18 ERA in 17 career starts against the Marlins, although he hasn't faced them since 2004.

The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts since he was activated from the disabled list for a strained right forearm. He gave up four runs - three earned - in five innings of a 6-3 loss at Atlanta on Wednesday.

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

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