SAN FRANCISCO -- As if the loss of Buster Posey and the pain of Wednesday night's defeat weren't enough, the Giants ran into even more disappointment on the field Thursday afternoon.
Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong pitched well enough to win, but less than a day after staging a four-run rally in the ninth inning, San Francisco's decimated lineup simply couldn't get anything going, and the Marlins (29-19) swept the Giants (27-22) with a 1-0 win in AT&T Park.
The three straight defeats mark the club's longest losing streak and first time being swept since April 20-24, when the Giants lost four in a row, including a three-game sweep by the Braves.
"It's frustrating. We got a well-pitched game -- I mean, what a job Vogelsong did. You'd like to think you're going to find a way to score a run, and we didn't do it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We were hoping to come out with a little fire here and get some runs.
"We're going to have to pick that up, especially with Buster gone, and hopefully somebody's going to fill that void."
After five scoreless innings, the Marlins finally broke through with a run off Vogelsong in the sixth. Chris Coghlan doubled to left field and moved to third on Emilio Bonifacio's sacrifice bunt. Logan Morrison then drove in the first run of the game with a line-drive single to center field on an 0-2 fastball that Vogelsong left a little high in the zone.
Despite taking his first loss of the year, Vogelsong continued his impressive comeback season by holding Florida to only one run on eight hits and one walk while striking out three. The right-hander entered the game 2-0 with a 2.01 ERA this month, and he matched up with Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez all afternoon, keeping the Giants within striking distance.
"Even though at the end the line looks good, it's tough giving up an 0-2 hit and costing you the game. It stings a little bit," Vogelsong said. "I was trying to go up out of the zone on him, trying to get him to chase, and it was up just high enough. He barely flared it in there. It wasn't altogether a bad pitch, but it could've been better."
But as it has struggled to do all season, San Francisco couldn't get any runners across home plate. Without Posey in his usual cleanup spot, the Giants trotted out a lineup that featured Aubrey Huff, batting .220 entering the game and admittedly not seeing the ball well, in the four hole.
"The way Vogey pitched today, it's just unacceptable to get a loss out of a game like that, and it's happened so many other times this year already with our starters," Huff said. "And I'm a big part of the problem. I'm just not putting any pressure on anybody, and when we do, it's not getting the job done."
"Vogelsong did a great job today. I think he and Anibal are the same kind of pitchers," added Morrison. "They have the same kind of stuff -- a little cutter, a two-seamer. Good curveballs. Good changeups. They kept us off balance. Anibal did a little better job."
The Giants had a man on second base in each of the first three innings but failed to capitalize. Leadoff hitter Andres Torres singled in the first and advanced to second on Emmanuel Burriss' sacrifice bunt, but Huff grounded into a 4-6-3 double play after Freddy Sanchez walked.
One inning later, Aaron Rowand doubled to get in scoring position with one out, but Miguel Tejada struck out and Eli Whiteside grounded out to the Marlins pitcher to end the threat. In the third, Burriss sliced a single to right and stole second but was stranded when Sanchez was called out on strikes.
Anibal Sanchez had his way with the Giants' struggling lineup all afternoon, striking out eight and scattering five hits in his third career shutout.
The Giants have now been held scoreless four times this season, and the postgame message from the players in the clubhouse was a familiar one: They can't keep wasting strong performances like the one they got out of Vogelsong on Thursday, and they have to start hitting soon -- ideally beginning Friday, when they hit the road for a seven-game trip through Milwaukee and St. Louis.
"That's the way it goes when you're not scoring runs," Huff said. "We'll just try to battle back tomorrow and get it going. We've got the pitching. We've just got to figure this offense out and we'll take off."
Adam Berry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.