Coors Field is so conducive to fly-ball hitters that even Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton characterized it as “ridiculous.” And his jolts don’t need the extra propellant the thin air provides.
But, boy, when he puts a charge into one at Coors, it really goes.
Stanton wiped out a one-run Colorado lead with one mighty swing of the bat, blasting a 474-foot bomb that landed high up in the center-field bleachers and helping to lift the Marlins to a 6-5 victory over the Rockies.
The home run was the longest hit this season at Coors and, according to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker, the fourth-longest hit at any ballpark – 11 feet shy of leader Cameron Maybin of the Padres.
Stanton has homered in five straight games at Coors, tying Jeff Kent’s record for a visiting player.
Asked if he could imagine what kind of numbers he might put up if he played at Coors more than a few games a year, Stanton smiled and replied simply: “Yes I could.”
Asked what those numbers might look like, Stanton hesitated briefly before answering: “Use your own imagination.”
Said manager Ozzie Guillen afterward: “This kid, every time he’s at the plate, he’s in scoring position, especially at this park. He’s got so much power, you always got the feeling the game [will] turn around any minute when he’s at the plate.”
Stanton wasn’t the only Marlin to get into the home run act. Jose Reyes added a three-run shot that squirted out of the glove of left fielder Carlos Gonzalez before falling into the seats. It was Reyes’ ninth homer of the season, but only his second in 105 career at-bats at Coors.
LeBLANC GETS UGLY WIN
The Marlins needed every ounce of power to overcome Colorado’s singles assault on starter Wade LeBlanc, who was nickel-and-dimed by a barrage of one-base hits. Bunt singles. Bloop singles. Broken-bat singles. You name it. The Rockies battered LeBlanc in the fourth and fifth innings with seven singles, which added up to five runs and a 5-4 lead.
It was a much different outing for LeBlanc than ones he has experienced in the past at Coors. In three prior starts at Coors as a member of the San Diego Padres, LeBlanc went 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA, giving up 23 hits – including four home runs – in only 16 1/3 innings.
LeBlanc made it through Friday’s first three innings unscathed before the Rockies began peppering him with hits. LeBlanc was done after the fifth, giving up five runs on nine hits and a pair of walks. Eight of the hits he allowed were singles. Of the Rockies’ 12 total hits for the game, 11 were singles. But he lasted long enough to earn the win.
“Any time you can get out of this place with a win, it’s a good night,” LeBlanc said. “It can get frustrating if you let it, but it’s one of those things where you have to keep making pitches, and if you do that, eventually things even out.”
GOING, GOING, GONE
Stanton led off the sixth with the Marlins trailing 5-4 and greeted reliever Josh Roenicke with his tape-measure bomb – his 23rd home run of the season. Donovan Solano followed Stanton’s long blast with a triple and scored the go-ahead run on John Buck’s double.
The Marlins bullpen shut down the Rockies over the final four innings to preserve the win, though Heath Bell had to squirm out of trouble in the eighth. He recorded two quick outs to start the inning before giving up back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners for the Rockies. But Bell avoided his seventh blown save by retiring Tyler Colvin on a soft liner to the second baseman, Solano, to end the threat.
Steve Cishek worked the ninth for his eighth save.