SAN FRANCISCO –- If the noisiest and crankiest Giants fans got their way in April, Ryan Vogelsong would’ve been banished to long relief and Pablo Sandoval would be punished in the timeout corner of the dugout.
Some loudmouths wanted them off the roster entirely.
This is why loudmouths, Leo Durocher being a notable exception, do not make good major league managers.
It’s a long season, and patience is a quality that baseball requires -- before Memorial Day, at least.
A manager’s patience isn’t always rewarded, but Vogelsong and Sandoval were worth the wait as the Giants took a convincing 4-1 victory over the Miami Marlins to salvage a four-game split Sunday afternoon at AT&T Park.
Vogelsong continued his sharp run with seven shutout innings, Sandoval extended his hitting streak to nine games while hitting his first home run in more than a month and the Giants fended off an opponent that had won 11 of its last 13 at AT&T Park.
Starting pitching report
Vogelsong followed up a rocky spring with a rough April, posting a 7.71 ERA over his first four outings. But he pledged that he was just one mechanical tweak away from rediscovering his velocity, movement and command.
There’s always going to be skepticism when you’re on the high side of your 30s. But Vogelsong backed up his talk.
He has a 1.62 ERA over his last five starts, completing at least six innings in all of them.
Vogelsong (2-2) worked efficiently while tossing just 98 pitches in seven shutout innings. He held the Marlins to five hits, walked one and struck out six.
Jeremy Affeldt retired just one of three hitters in the eighth, giving up a run and leaving a baserunner in scoring position for Santiago Casilla.
Once again, Casilla was stingy with inherited runners. He gave up a single but struck out Garrett Jones and then got a very scary pinch hitter -- Giancarlo Stanton – to fly out to end the inning.
Sergio Romo pitched around a single in the ninth to record his 15th save in 16 opportunities. Only the Brewers’ Francisco Rodriguez has recorded more saves this season.
At the plate
Just more than a week ago, Bruce Bochy installed a .173-hitting Sandoval in the cleanup spot at Dodger Stadium. And Sandoval asked Bochy how much he had to drink the previous night.
But perhaps that show of support gave Sandoval a spore of confidence, and it mushroomed from there. Sandoval has a .389 average (14 for 36) over a nine-game hitting streak, which he extended with a single in the first inning off Marlins right-hander Jacob Turner.
The Giants already had a run on the board when Sandoval batted in the first inning. Gregor Blanco was hit on the foot by a pitch, stole second base (replays showed he was out but the Marlins didn’t challenge), advanced on a ground out and scored on Buster Posey’s sacrifice fly.
Sandoval started another rally with his hit – the first of four consecutive two-out singles. Tyler Colvin and Brandon Hicks knocked in runs with their hits as the Giants took a 3-0 lead.
The Giants improved to 20-4 when they score first.
They were quiet until the fifth, when Turner missed his outside target and threw a fastball over the middle. Sandoval got his front foot down and barreled up an opposite-field shot that cleared the fence for his third homer of the season.
It was Sandoval’s first home run in 109 at-bats, the second longest drought on the team. (Joaquin Arias has gone 124 at-bats since his last homer in 2013).
Another day, another run-saving play for shortstop Brandon Crawford. He continued one more trend by taking a hit away from the other team’s shortstop, too.
Crawford ranged up the middle to smother Adeiny Hechavarria’s grounder with two runners in scoring position and two out in the fifth inning. Michael Morse, who continues to display good hands at first base, received the throw a step ahead of Hechavarria’s arrival to end the inning.
The Giants announced 41,551 paid and fully clothed spectators.
The Giants take Monday off before beginning a short, three-game road trip at Coors Field on Tuesday. Madison Bumgarner is scheduled to start the opener against Rockies left-hander Franklin Morales (3-3, 5.40). It’ll be Matt Cain (1-3, 4.33) against right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (0-2, 4.76) on Wednesday. Tim Hudson (4-2, 2.09) is tentatively scheduled to start against left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (5-3, 4.14) on Thursday.