Fresh off of wins against the likes of Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer, the San Francisco Giants were shut down on Tuesday night by Trevor Richards, a rookie who went undrafted out of college and spent two years in independent ball.
Richards allowed just two hits over six innings en route to his first career win as his Miami Marlins defeated the Giants for the second night in a row.
After walking Joe Panik and Buster Posey to start the game a wild pitch and a Brandon Crawford RBI groundout accounted for the Giants’ only run in the 3-1 loss.
It would be the only serious threat for San Francisco (33-34) all night. Richards scattered two singles and a walk over his next five innings, and the only runner to reach scoring position against him after the first, Gorkys Hernandez, was promptly picked off after advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt.
Giants starter Chris Stratton put forth yet another serviceable outing, allowing four hits and three walks over seven innings, but Miami (25-42) pushed across three runs in the third on a Starlin Castro single and Riddle’s two-run double. With men on second and third with one out, Miguel Rojas hit a liner back to Stratton for an inning-ending double play.
It was all Richards would get, but it was all he would need. Undrafted out of Division II Drury University in Missouri, the right-hander spent two years with the independent Gateway Grizzlies in Illinois before signing with the Marlins. He earned the win in his seventh career start, as Adam Conley, Brad Ziegler and Kyle Barraclough each pitched scoreless innings to close the game.
Though the Giants had won each of Stratton’s last five starts, the lack of offensive support doomed him to a loss on Tuesday. He was responsible for one of the three hits, singling off Richards to lead off the third. The other two San Francisco hits came from Evan Longoria — who was immediately erased on a Pablo Sandoval double play — and Hunter Pence, who singled off Ziegler to open the eighth. Ziegler responded by striking out Hernandez and getting Alen Hanson to hit into a double play.
Miami’s chance to break the game open in the bottom of the eighth was thwarted by Will Smith, who struck out the heart of the Marlins order after back-to-back singles against Cory Gearrin.
The Giants can still salvage a series split, playing the Marlins again on Wednesday at 4:10 Pacific, and finishing the series on Thursday at 9:10 a.m., Pacific. Then, it’s off to Los Angeles, where the Dodgers have won seven of their last nine games before Tuesday’s series opener with the Texas Rangers.