Melky Cabrera is coming off a 200-hit season in Kansas City and leads the National League in hits this year, but has sometimes been overshadowed in his career.
However, the San Francisco Giants are well aware of his value. The Miami Marlins are believers too.
The 27-year old outfielder from the Dominican Republic had four hits, including a home run, in four at-bats, Matt Cain pitched into the seventh inning, and the San Giants beat the Miami 3-2 on Sunday.
Buster Posey, Angel Pagan, and Cabrera drove in the runs for the Giants, who wrapped up a seven-game road trip with a 4-3 record.
Cain (5-2) allowed two runs (one earned) and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked three in his first win against the Marlins since July 27, 2010, a span of five starts.
Santiago Casilla recorded his 12th save in 13 chances by pitching the final 1 1/3 innings.
“I was really happy I was able to produce, but the story of the day is Matt Cain and the bullpen,” Cabrera said.
Cabrera also scored all three runs for the Giants and stole two bases. He added to his National League-leading hit total, which now stands at 73, while registering his 24th multi-hit game, which also leads the league. It was the ninth time in his career and third this season he has had four hits in a game.
“He’s been a one-man show this week,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. “He hit everything we threw -- slider, curveball, changeup, and fastball. He hit all four pretty well. This guy is a very, very good hitter.”
Cabrera got it started for San Francisco with a solo home run, his fourth, to right field in the first inning off Ricky Nolasco (5-3). In his next at-bat, Cabrera singled to lead off the fourth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Pagan to give the Giants a 2-0 lead.
“(Cabrera) is definitely on fire right now,” Cain said. “We’re loving it.”
The Marlins cut the deficit in half after Giancarlo Stanton walked to begin the fifth and Logan Morrison laid down a bunt to the left side of the infield with a shift to the right. Chris Coghlan’s two-out single to right scored Stanton.
Posey’s double off the center-field wall scored Cabrera in the sixth, stretching the Giants lead to 3-1.
Miami had an opportunity to score in the bottom of the sixth with runners on second and third, but second baseman Ryan Theriot scooped up a grounder by Logan Morrison, jumped and threw out Morrison at first for the third out to preserve the lead.
However, Jose Reyes would come through for the Marlins in the seventh with a two-out line drive single to right that scored Bryan Petersen, pulling Miami within 3-2. Cain was then lifted in favor of Sergio Romo, who struck out Omar Infante to end the inning.
Nolasco allowed three runs, five hits, and two walks in seven innings. He struck out two.
“I made one more mistake than Cain did,” Nolasco said. “I knew he was going to be good, he always is. He just out-pitched me today.”
NOTES: Cabrera is hitting .426 (46 for 108) in May and is just six hits away from tying Randy Winn’s San Francisco Giants record for hits in a month. ... Nolasco lost to the Giants for the first time in his last five starts and is now 5-3 with a 1.83 ERA in eight starts against the club. ... Coghlan’s two-hit performance gave him his first multi-hit game since April 13 vs. Houston. ... Pagan and Coghlan each made highlight-reel diving plays in the outfield. ... Miami’s 2008 first-round draft pick, C Kyle Skipworth, hit for the cycle and drove in six runs Saturday for Double-A Jacksonville.