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Marlins, Giants to wrap up disappointing first halves

SAN FRANCISCO -- Two teams in a hurry to turn the page on a disappointing first half will complete a three-game series when the Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants meet Sunday.

The Marlins will send a hot pitcher, right-hander Jose Urena, up against Giants veteran Johnny Cueto, who has been deemed healthy enough to make a start from which he was scratched Thursday in Detroit.

The Marlins (40-46) have won the first two games of the series, and regardless of Sunday's result, will go into the All-Star break in far better shape than the Giants (34-55).

"We had an awful May," Marlins manager Don Mattingly assessed after Saturday's 5-4 victory. "We weren't pitching. We weren't hitting. We weren't doing anything. But since then, we've played better."

They've certainly played well in the first two games in San Francisco, using big first innings, quality starting pitching and three home runs to hand the Giants two defeats.

Urena will be looking to go 2-0 on the Marlins' trip when he faces a Giants team that has lost three straight.

The 25-year-old is coming off a 5-2 win at St. Louis that improved his record to 6-1 in his last nine starts.

Urena will be making his first career start against the Giants. He saw them once in relief last season and gave up two runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.

If there's any reason for the Marlins to be concerned Sunday, it's that they might have celebrated Saturday's win a little too much.

The club gave Chris O'Grady a cart ride and beer shower in a jubilant clubhouse after the left-hander won his major league debut.

The Marlins will have to deal with the Giants' top pitcher, Cueto, in the series finale.

The right-hander will be seeking to go into the All-Star break on a positive note after a troubled first half. He has won only once since May 28, that coming in his most recent start at Pittsburgh.

Cueto was slated to finish his first half Thursday at Detroit, but had to be scratched after experiencing dizziness during warmups. The episode was linked to an inner-ear infection.

The 2016 All-Star will replace Matt Cain in the starting assignment.

Cueto has gone 4-2 with a 4.64 ERA in nine career starts against the Marlins.

The Giants might have lost for the 55th time Saturday night, but manager Bruce Bochy liked the way his club went down fighting.

San Francisco scored once in the ninth and had the potential tying run at third base when Hunter Pence struck out to end the game against Marlins closer A.J. Ramos.

"A good rally. I'll take that," Bochy admitted. "We had a good hitter up there."

The Giants' best hitter against the Marlins, catcher Buster Posey, was on deck at the time.

He extended his hitting streak against Miami to 14 games with a sixth-inning double. He's gone 19-for-52 during the streak.

Posey also whiffed in the first inning, becoming O'Grady's first strikeout victim in a major league game.

"Not who I was expecting to get my first strikeout," the rookie assured afterward.

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