The Giants got walked off in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday, but they might have a much bigger problem.
Buster Posey was removed in the fifth inning of a 6-5 loss to the Marlins and evaluated by team doctors. Posey was hit right in the center of his mask by a second-inning foul tip and needed a walk to the mound to clear his head.
The quick turnaround makes this a tricky situation for the Giants. First pitch Thursday is at noon in Miami and the Giants will have to scramble if Posey isn’t available to catch. Teams generally won’t go into a game with just one healthy catcher and the only other catcher on the 40-man roster, Hector Sanchez, was scheduled to play in Sacramento Wednesday night.
In a pinch, the Giants could also turn to Jackson Williams, their catcher at Double-A Richmond. In a real emergency, they could temporarily sign Eli Whiteside, who is their bullpen catcher right now but was ready to play in the Atlanta Braves system this season before changing careers.
Posey’s test results weren’t immediately available. He wasn’t around as Santiago Casilla suffered his fourth blown save of the season.
[RELATED: Posey leaves game vs. Marlins]
Casilla put two on to open the bottom of the ninth and then grooved a fastball right down the middle to Justin Bour. The first baseman blasted it out to right.
The Giants led 1-0 heading into the bottom of the third, but the Marlins put up a three-spot, the first run coming when Dan Haren butcher-boyed a single to right. Dee Gordon followed with an RBI triple and scored on Adeiny Hechavarria’s double-play grounder.
The Giants chipped away, getting a run on Gregor Blanco’s single in the top of the fourth and then taking the lead in the sixth. Brandon Belt drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Brandon Crawford followed with his 11th homer, a new career-high. Two throwing errors by pitcher Sam Dyson helped the Giants add another run in the seventh.
Starting pitching report: Chris Heston had some trouble early, but settled down and gave up three runs over six innings in his first start in Florida. The Palm Bay native had about 20 family members and friends sitting behind the dugout. He gave up five hits, walked three and struck out one.
Bullpen report: “Good” Hunter Strickland is really good. He needed just six pitches — all strikes — to get through the bottom of the seventh.
At the plate: Bruce Bochy now has two pitchers who may be able to help out at the plate in a random 16-inning game or something. Heston doubled in the fifth, and he has a hit in six of his last eight starts. Heston has seven hits during that time, including two doubles.
In the field: Heston benefited from four double plays, with Crawford and Joe Panik combining for a slick one early that involved Crawford flipping the ball toward the bag as his momentum took him into right field.
Up next: Two huge comebacks. After almost a year dealing with bone chips in his elbow and a right flexor strain, Matt Cain returns to the rotation. Cain is making his first start since last July 9. Jose Fernandez, the righty with Cy Young-caliber stuff, returns to the mound after missing 14 months because of Tommy John surgery. Hernandez has a 2.25 ERA in 36 big league starts.