ARLINGTON, Texas – Two Giancarlo Stanton home runs has become a common sight for the Marlins this month.
Adam Conley blanking an opponent for seven innings is one they’d like to start seeing more often.
The Marlins rode both to a 4-0 shutout of the Texas Rangers on Monday night at Globe Life Park.
Conley allowed seven hits, but did not walk any batters and struck out five in his longest scoreless start since June 22 of last season when he threw eight shutout innings in Miami against the Braves.
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Conley has allowed two runs in 13 innings (1.38 ERA) in his two starts since being recalled from the minors this past Tuesday. Conley had a 7.53 ERA in seven previous starts before being demoted on May 9th.
“I can’t really tell you what I was really thinking about doing out there,” Conley said. “Just grabbing the ball, convicted about a pitch and throwing it the best I could. I was able to do that for a pretty good stretch there tonight.”
The Marlins may took another couple of hits on the injury front, however.
Justin Bour, who started Monday as a designated hitter, was replaced after only one at-bat in the fourth inning by Ichiro Suzuki. Bour left the game with a right oblique strain and Mattingly indicated he will very likely be placed on the disabled list. Bour, who is hitting .289 with 21 homers and 63 RBI, spent 10 days on the DL in June with a left ankle bruise.
“I can’t really even describe the frustration level, really,” Bour said. “Just took some swings and a little bit sore, then felt something on that last at-bat there on the oblique. [I talked with] the trainers and decided it was best to come out.”
Miguel Rojas also hurt his left shoulder while making a diving attempt to stop a ground ball by Adrian Beltre in the sixth inning that reached center field for a single. Rojas finished the game, but Mattingly said he would see a doctor on Tuesday.
Monday’s game was only the fifth Rojas played since coming back from the disabled list where he spent over two months with a fractured thumb. The Marlins would be left very thin at shortstop if Rojas were to return to the DL. J.T. Riddle (left shoulder tendinitis) has already missed the past four games, and the Marlins could end up placing him on the DL also.
The Marlins would have to look for help from the minors with infielders Christian Colon and Mike Aviles being the more likely candidates to be called up, and possibly Tomas Telis, who can play first base.
“[Rojas] hasn’t seen the doctor yet, but it didn’t look very good,” Mattingly said.
Three of the hits Conley allowed belonged to Beltre, who pulled to within seven hits of the 3,000-hit mark after going 4 for 4. Beltre, whose fourth hit came against closer A.J. Ramos in the ninth, was the only Rangers’ batter Conley did not retire as he singled in the first, fourth and sixth innings.
“I was talking with the umpire, and I said, ‘If Andrian Beltre gets three hits off me tonight and it's three ground ball singles, I'll take it,’” said Conley, who pitched at Washington State University and watched Beltre play during his time with the Mariners. “I’ll count my blessings on that. I've been watching that guy play for a long time. He's one of my favorite players to watch, honestly.”
Stanton gave Conley more than enough run support with the 25th multi-home run game of his career, seventh of the season, and fourth in July.
He also backed him up on defense with a great throw from right field to retire Shin-Soo Choo trying to advance to second on a single that would have put runners on the corners with one out in the third. It was Stanton’s third outfield assist in the past two games. Rojas made a great pick on a hop to tag out Choo. The Rangers challenged the play, but the call was upheld after review.
Stanton’s career-high for homers in a season is 37. Gary Sheffield holds the franchise record with 42 homers in 1996.
“Punch’em early, ha,” Stanton said. “It was good. Conley, he brought the demeanor and that drive I like out of him. He's got to keep that up.”
With 11 home runs in July, Stanton is one short of the club record (12) which he set twice (June 2015 and May 2012) and shares with Dan Uggla (May 2008).
Stanton has homered in 26 different stadiums in his career and against 25 different teams during his career.
“I do want to homer in all ballparks,” Stanton said. “I remember watching a game when I was little and Barry [Bonds], I don't know which park it was, but he finally got his last one. I thought last night that I needed to get one.”
Marcell Ozuna drove in the only Marlins’ run that didn’t come from Stanton’s homers in the sixth with a double that scored Christian Yelich.
Following Dee Gordon’s double to leadoff the game, Stanton smacked a 429-foot homer to left field to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead.
Stanton led off the eighth with an opposite field, 384-foot solo home run. It was Stanton’s 32nd homer, which tied him with Aaron Judge for the major-league lead and moved him into a tie for 11th place on the Marlins’ single-season home run list.