Giancarlo Stanton ends slump as Miami Marlins end five-game skid
Giancarlo Stanton got his first RBI in July with a two-run double in the first inning, and the Marlins beat the Braves to snap a five-game losing streak.
07/11/2013 12:01 AM
07/11/2013 7:05 PM
It had been a cold July for Giancarlo Stanton.
No home runs. No RBI. And a whole lot of frustration.
But Wednesday brought a glimmer of inner satisfaction to the Marlins’ big slugger, who ended his RBI drought with a two-run double in the first and walked three times after that in the Marlins’ 6-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves that ended a five-game losing streak.
“It’s nice to get back in the win column,” said manager Mike Redmond.
Redmond said it was nice, too, to see Stanton show signs of snapping out of his slump.
“It’s huge,’’ Redmond said. “Stanton’s huge.’’
Stanton didn’t do it by himself at Marlins Park on Wednesday. Placido Polanco came through with three runs, including a big two-out, two-run single in the eighth to pad the lead. And Jacob Turner turned in seven strong innings to improve to 3-1 after starting the season in the minors.
But the Marlins go as Stanton goes, and it has been slow going of late for both.
Since blasting two homers in Arizona back on June 17 to reach the 100 home run plateau, he has put just one out over the past 21 games.
He had driven in just three runs since then, too.
But Paul Maholm hung a changeup in the first that Stanton took care of with one vicious swing, driving the ball into the gap in left and putting the Marlins ahead 2-0 almost instantly.
They handed Turner a 4-0 cushion by scoring twice more after that in the first, and the right-hander made the lead stick as he continued to give indications that his early-season problems are a thing of the past. Turner started the year at Triple A after he struggled in spring training.
“It’s unfortunate that I didn’t throw good at the beginning of the year, but that was probably the best for me to go down there and work on what I needed to work on,’’ Turner said. “Ultimately, I think it definitely helped me.’’
Turner held the Braves to a pair of runs on four hits Wednesday. He also tripled in the fourth inning for his first major-league extra-base hit.
“I was joking with him in the dugout after the triple, [I was] afraid that I was going to have to take him out of the game because usually, in my experience, when those guys have to run around a little bit, they get tired really quick,’’ Redmond joked.
Redmond, of course, left Turner in.
Polanco’s three hits included an RBI double in the first and the two-run single in the eighth that gave the Marlins some breathing room. Polanco has ceded some of his playing time at third to Ed Lucas but said it’s no trouble staying sharp.
“When I first came up, that was my role,’’ Polanco said. “I didn’t play every day.’’
For Stanton, the drought-ending double in the first was a relief. But he said the walks he nursed out of his three succeeding at bats were an even better sign to him.
He said that in the past, and especially in the previous few games, he would have swung at some of the outside sliders Maholm was trying to get him to chase. On Wednesday he resisted, and his patience paid off.
Stanton walked seven times in the three-game series with Atlanta.
“They threw good pitches at me, and it’s good I laid off of them,’’ he said.
Stanton said that, in the past, he would become “furious’’ with himself when he landed in a slump. But now he’s trying to take it in stride — considering it a part of the game — a bit more.
“I’m kind of taking a little different approach,’’ he said. “You can get mad every once in a while. That’s fine. Get [angry] for a few minutes, and leave it alone. You can do whatever you want for a couple of minutes and move on.’’
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