Anything that Christian Yelich can do, Giancarlo Stanton can do better.
At least when it comes to hitting mammoth homers.
Not long after Yelich belted a tape-measure home run into the upper deck that would make Stanton proud, Stanton one-upped him with the longest home run of the season in the majors.
It all added up to a 6-4 victory over the Phillies for the Marlins on Friday night, giving them 11 wins in their past 12 games. That equaled the franchise record for a 12-game stretch.
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“They were saying Yeli’s got the big-time pop now,” Stanton said, smiling. “So I had to catch up to him a little bit.”
Yelich’s two-run homer in the first off Phillies starter Vince Velasquez found the upper deck in right-center and was measured by ESPN Stats & Info at 468 feet — making it the longest non-Stanton home run in Marlins history.
After a 4-0 lead for the Marlins dissolved into a 4-4 tie when Wei-Yin Chen gave up 11 hits to the worst-hitting team in the majors, Stanton came to the plate in the eighth facing Hector Neris with a man aboard.
Stanton crushed Neris’ 1-0 splitter just to the left of the Home Run Sculpture, with the ball landing on the outfield promenade next to the Budweiser Bar.
The estimated distance of Stanton’s homer: 475 feet.
It was the longest homer of the season in the majors, the 10th of the season for Stanton, and it moved the Marlins into third place in the National League East, ahead of the Phillies and 2 1/2 games behind first-place Washington.
“He does it all the time,” Yelich said of Stanton’s wallop. “You see him hit balls like that every week. That’s just a normal homer for him. Every time he hits a homer, it’s the farthest homer in baseball.”
The ball was flying with the roof open Friday for the second consecutive night.
“It must carry better with the roof open, we’re finding that out,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
It’s suddenly been carrying extremely well for Yelich of late. Yelich had hit only three home runs in his first 172 games at Marlins Park. But he’s hit three over the past four games there.
All of a sudden, the ballpark where fly balls go to die — at least those not belonging to Stanton — has become a bit more forgiving. Then again, it works both ways.
Yelich had given the Marlins a quick 2-0 lead on his home run in the first, and the lead expanded to 4-0 in the second on RBI singles by J.T. Realmuto and Martin Prado.
But on a night when nothing was working for Chen, the Phillies clawed back, eventually tying it in the fifth on a solo shot by Maikel Franco.
“The only thing I can say is that I really pitched terrible out there,” Chen said. “Thankfully, my teammates picked me up and it was a good team win.”
The Phillies brought a .223 team average into Friday’s game but fattened that anemic figure against Chen.
“They were hitting everything on the nose,” Mattingly said. “So there wasn’t a lot of swing-and-miss in there. It didn’t look like anybody was getting fooled. That’s going to happen now and then.”
Once again, the bullpen came to the rescue.
Mattingly used four relievers to get through the final four innings, eventually handing the ball — with A.J. Ramos needing a night off because of heavy usage — to David Phelps to work the ninth and record the save.