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Marlins beat Giants for three-game sweep

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POSTED May 3, 2012 10:38 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants already miss their free-swinging slugger.

With Pablo Sandoval down and headed for Friday surgery on a broken hamate bone in his left hand, the Giants faced their same offensive troubles trying to deliver the big hit.

San Francisco failed to back starter Ryan Vogelsong and dropped its third straight one-run game, losing 3-2 on Thursday as the Miami Marlins left AT&T Park with a three-game sweep for the second straight year.

"Pablo wasn't the reason today. We made some mistakes. We're hurting ourselves more than anything. We can't get a productive out," manager Bruce Bochy said. "All three games could have gone either way with one or two little things.

"That was a tough series, three tight games. You have to execute to get over the hump."

Hanley Ramirez drove in a pair of runs without a hit to back Anibal Sanchez's first win in four starts, and the Marlins rebounded from a rough stretch by doing just enough.

"A win is a win, especially the way that we have been playing," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We'll take every win. We've got to get better. It's very hard for our pitching staff to go out there and shut people down every day."

Giancarlo Stanton doubled in the seventh after he homered in three of his previous four games. Stanton has nine doubles and four home runs in 10 career games in the Giants' waterfront ballpark.

A 3,000-mile trek cross-country and a change of scenery seems to have done the trick for the rebounding Marlins, who had lost eight of nine and were booed in their new home stadium before starting this series — the club's second three-game sweep at AT&T Park in two visits.

"To come here and win all three games was great for us," shortstop Jose Reyes said. "We're playing good as a team now."

Edward Mujica worked the ninth for his first save in two chances on a day closer Heath Bell wasn't available after pitching in three straight games. The Marlins won their seventh in a row in San Francisco, taking all three in this series by one run, including 3-2 in 10 innings Wednesday night.

"At least we got people on base. It's more fun that way," Guillen said. "I'd rather have people on base than nobody on base. We cannot get the big hit to open a game. Every time we have people on base something happens to shut down and we don't have the big hit to rally. It's getting old."

Sanchez (2-0) allowed one run on seven hits, struck out five and walked one in seven innings. He snapped a three-start stretch in which he didn't earn a decision, including a career-best 14-strikeout performance last Saturday's 3-2 home win against Arizona.

Melky Cabrera had two hits and the Giants scored their only run on his double-play grounder in the sixth.

The Giants received tough news before the game when slugger and top hitter Pablo Sandoval was lost to a broken bone in his left hand that will require surgery Friday. He's expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks.

"It definitely hurts us he's not in the lineup. He's a big part of our offense and plays a pretty good third base," Vogelsong said. "It's hard to say this, but we've been here before and we need to find ways to get some wins while he's out."

San Francisco has scored three or fewer runs in eight of its 12 home games and has not scored more than five runs in any of its games at AT&T Park.

Vogelsong (0-2) was tagged for eight hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked four while throwing 116 pitches.

The Giants had runners on second and third in the seventh but couldn't convert, and they are 9 for 48 (.188) with runners in scoring position over the past six games. San Francisco went 0 for 5 Thursday.

"Everybody has to chip in and play harder. It's going to be harder to win every game," Brandon Belt said.

Conor Gillaspie, promoted from Triple-A Fresno to replace Sandoval, went 1 for 3 batting second as Angel Pagan dropped from leadoff to the No. 5 hole as the Giants dealt with the big blow of losing their All-Star slugger.

Pagan extended his career-best hitting streak to 17 games with a leadoff single in the seventh.

NOTES: The Giants have 28 errors, second in the majors to San Diego's 29. ... Pagan batted fifth for the first time this season. He also hit sixth once but otherwise had been in the leadoff of No. 2 hole the rest of the time. ... All four of Vogelsong's starts have been afternoon games. ... Bochy was to be honored Thursday night by the American Leadership Forum in nearby Mountain View.

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