SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Ed Lucas had to strike a deal with a kid to leave AT&T Park with his first career home run ball. A signed bat apparently proved to be plenty.
Lucas homered in the first inning against Barry Zito and singled twice in Miami's 2-1 loss Saturday to the San Francisco Giants, who snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Marlins at home in AT&T Park.
``I think some kid caught it in the outfield,' Lucas said. ``They were yelling at him to throw it back, which he held onto it. It was a pretty good decision for him. I'll probably give that one to my grandma, actually. This is a tough park to hit it in. Haven't had too much success with the longball lately but that one felt pretty good.'
There have been many moments to celebrate for Lucas in his short time in the big leagues - at last.
The 31-year-old Lucas was a career minor leaguer who logged 925 games while trying to break into the big leagues, including six of his 10 minor league years at Triple-A. He finally got his shot on May 30 - eight days after turning 31 - when he made his major league debut as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning against Tampa Bay.
``It was a great experience, versus a pretty good pitcher, too,' Lucas said. ``I wish it would have come in a winning effort. A lot of firsts for me recently. This is probably one of the best so far.'
Giants right fielder Hunter Pence made a diving catch to rob Placido Polanco of a likely go-ahead single to end the 11th as Miami left runners on first and second in back-to-back innings. The Giants beat the Marlins at home for the first time since July 28, 2010.
Mike Dunn (2-2) allowed Gregor Blanco's infield single to start the 11th. Ryan Webb relieved and gave up Buster Posey's infield single. Pence was intentionally walked and Sanchez singled to left for his third game-ending hit.
``If I would have dove for the ball there's no play on that,' Marlins left fielder Justin Ruggiano said. ``My only chance was to get it on a clean hop - which was tough because it was spinning sideways - and try to throw the guy out at home.'
Blanco hit a tying double in the fifth for the Giants.
Zito tossed seven impressive innings with a heavy heart three days after the death of his father, Joe.
``I'm doing all right,' Zito said. ``I went out there today and was able to keep my stuff down for the most part. ... I wanted to stay on turn and help the ballclub the best I can. It was good to be able to go out there and throw. I just try to minimize distractions and take the mound regardless of what it is. Some things are a little heavier than others.'
Sergio Romo struck out Giancarlo Stanton to end the eighth but yielded Polanco's leadoff single in the 10th. After a strikeout of Jeff Mathis, Javier Lopez relieved and gave up a base hit to pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs. Sandy Rosario (2-0) entered and struck out Ruggiano and Lucas, pumping his fists when the inning ended.
While the home run was special, Lucas wished he had come through in extra innings.
``They all feel good. It doesn't matter if it's in the big leagues or in Triple-A or Little League,' he said. ``Any time you square the ball up it feels good. But I'd trade that one for my last at-bat with some runners on base in extra innings.'
The Marlins' nine-game winning streak at AT&T Park was the club's longest in franchise history against any opponent.
The nine victories in a row in San Francisco tied the second-longest unbeaten run in the team's waterfront ballpark with the Padres from July 2, 1995, to Sept. 16, 1996. The Los Angeles Dodgers won 11 in a row in San Francisco from Aug. 19, 2006, to July 15, 2007.
The Giants missed a chance in the first on Blanco's baserunning blunder. He and Marco Scutaro started the inning with consecutive singles, then Posey flied out to shallow center and Marcell Ozuna threw out Blanco at second when he was caught off the bag after taking an early jump.
In the second, Juan Perez reached on a two-out walk only to be picked off at first. Scutaro grounded into an inning-ending double play in the third for yet another squandered chance. Perez was thrown out at the plate in the fifth on a squeeze attempt.
In the fifth, Blanco was credited with an RBI double after a fan reached over the 20-foot wall in right field and snatched the ball on a high bounce. Blanco was then moved to third, as it is the umpires' discretion to determine where they thought the baserunner would have ended up without the interference.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond received his first career ejection as a skipper for arguing the ruling.
``I thought initially it was a ground rule double. He called fan interference,' Redmond said. ``I just didn't think Barry Zito would have scored from first.'
Giants manager Bruce Bochy, meanwhile, thought Blanco might have had an inside-the-park homer otherwise. Zito believes he would have scored.
Marlins starter Jacob Turner, facing the Giants for the first time in his career, hung tough in his duel with Zito. Turner singled in the fifth for his first major league hit.
``(We) were one hit away from changing the whole game,' Ruggiano said. ``We hit the ball pretty hard.'
NOTES: Stanton had a 10-game hitting streak against San Francisco snapped. ... Marlins Spanish radio voice, Felo Ramirez, celebrated his 90th birthday. ... Redmond had one ejection during his 13-year playing career.
The Associated Press News Service
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