Moehler became the latest struggling pitcher with a soaring ERA to shut down San Francisco's feeble offense, and Miguel Cabrera drove in four runs, as Florida sent the Giants reeling to their third straight defeat with a 5-3 victory Tuesday night.
The journeyman hurler came into the contest sporting a ridiculous 6.80 ERA, and early on it looked like the Giants would break out of their recent offensive doldrums. In the top of the third ,with two outs and Lance Niekro on second, Omar Vizquel came through in the clutch lining an RBI triple into the right-field corner, putting the Giants in front 1-0.
The lead was short lived however, as the Marlins offense erupted for four runs in the bottom half of the inning against Giants starter Noah Lowry. Reggie Abercrombie started things off with a double down the third base line, past a diving Pedro Feliz, and came around to score on Moehler's RBI base hit to center. After Dan Uggla singled to put runners at first and second, Cabrera made the Giants pay, hitting, a three-run homer over the scoreboard in left, giving Florida a 4-1 lead. It was Cabrera's ninth long ball of the season.
"He was just born to hit. There's no other way to say it," Moehler said of Cabrera. "He's a great hitter. He's probably a little under the radar because we don't get a lot of press down here."
Cabrera's blast would be all the support that Moehler (3-4) would need as he handcuffed San Francisco's bats, scattering six hits and allowing two runs in six innings of work.
Lowry (1-3), who lost his third consecutive decision, became the latest starting pitcher to fall victim to the Giants inability to score runs. Other than the rough third inning, the left-hander pitched well allowing four runs on five hits in six innings.
The Giants would move a little closer in the top of the fifth, when Niekro swatted the first of two solo home runs on the night to left, making the score 4-2. He was one of the only bright spots offensively, playing his first game in nearly two weeks after being out with a shoulder injury. The first baseman then added another solo shot, his third hit of the game, in the ninth off Marlins closer Joe Borowski, cutting the lead to 5-3. Unfortunately for San Francisco, Borowski retired Jose Vizcaino on a fly out to center to close it out, ending any possibility of a comeback.
"You talk about fresh. That's a guy who was fresh," Alou said of Niekro. "Not because he hit the homers. He just looked fresh out there."
San Francisco's offense continues to sputter having scored only four runs in 18 innings against the Florida pitching staff.
Game Notes: To make room for Niekro on the roster, Travis Ishikawa was optioned to AA-Connecticut before the game... Barry Bonds was a late scratch from the lineup with a sore back; he is day-to-day and will mostlikely miss tomorrow's contest.
SFDugout's Player of the Game: Lance Niekro went 3-for-4 with two homers in his first game back from the disabled list.
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