MIAMI — The Giants and Marlins played five hours and 34 minutes on Monday night at Marlins Park. For shortstop Brandon Crawford, it was one long sprint through the record books.
Crawford became the first Giant and fifth player all-time to record seven hits in the game. The final one — his fifth single — drove in Brandon Belt in the top of the 14th and gave the Giants a marathon 8-7 win on their first night in Miami.
Crawford became the first big leaguer in 41 years to achieve the feat. He almost single-handedly made sure the Giants wouldn’t come away empty on a wild night that included 18 runners left on base. The Giants won after falling behind by four runs early.
Only one of the All-Star starting pitchers lived up to expectations. Johnny Cueto gave up a pair of runs in a fourth inning that started with a leadoff walk. Christian Yelich smoked a slider the other way, bringing in the first run. Giancarlo Stanton followed with an RBI single that was actually kind of a break for the Giants given that Stanton could have done much more with the hanging slider.
The home runs would come an inning later. Martin Prado hit a two-run shot into the Clevelander nightclub, giving the Marlins a 4-1 lead. Before the people out there could order another round of Fireball, Yelich pulled a homer into the seats in right-center.
The game swung all the way back the Giants’ way in the seventh, after Jose Fernandez had left with a four-run lead. Denard Span set off a string of five straight two-strike hits, with Brandon Belt providing the big blow on a double off the wall. With two on and no outs, Joe Panik bunted both runners into scoring position. The next pitch went back to the screen and Brandon Crawford raced home for the go-ahead run.
The lead would last just a few minutes. Will Smith entered for the bottom of the seventh and gave up a single, double and two-run single as the Marlins jumped back on top. Crawford’s two-out single tied it up in the eighth.
The bullpens took the game to the 11th, and Buster Posey drew a walk and took third on Crawford’s single. But the Giants couldn’t bring him in. Adeiny Hechavarria made a marvelous play at short to end the threat.
Crawford’s sixth hit was a triple. The Marlins intentionally walked the bases loaded, but pinch-hitter Madison Bumgarner struck out to end the inning.
Belt and Posey drew walks with two outs in the 14th and Crawford smoked an Andrew Cashner pitch up the middle. George Kontos, in his second inning of work, finished the Marlins off.
Starting pitching report: Cueto was charged with five earned in five innings. He has pitched exactly five innings in three of his five second half starts after doing it just once before the All-Star break. He has given up at least four runs three times in the second half after doing it four total times in the first half.
Bullpen report: Stanton was waiting for Hunter Strickland’s fastball. He never got one. Strickland threw three straight breaking balls past the strongest hitter in the game.
At the plate: Crawford had the first six-hit game by a Giant since Mike Benjamin in 1995. He had four singles, a double and a triple.
In the field: Posey threw behind Yelich’s back for what looked to be an incredible out at second, but replay overturned the call. Still a cool throw. In the bottom of the ninth, Posey gunned Dee Gordon down cleanly.
Attendance: The Marlins announced a crowd of 22,806 human beings who gave Ichiro a standing ovation in his first home at-bat after reaching 3,000 hits. Jake Peavy stepped away from the mound and Posey backed away from the plate so the moment could continue a bit longer.
Up next: Matt Moore makes his second start for the Giants. He’ll face right-hander Tom Koehler, who is 8-8 with a 4.05 ERA.