aGiancarlo Stanton’s push to reach 60 home runs is back on track.
On Wednesday afternoon, Stanton hit one of his signature low-line drive laser shots speeding into the Clevelander bar behind left field at Marlins Park for his 56th homer of the season.
By that point, Stanton’s teammates had done enough damage of their own with three more home runs that secured a 9-2 victory and completed a three-game sweep of the visiting Mets.
Stanton, who entered the week having gone six games without a home run, is finding a groove again despite being pitched to cautiously by his opponents. With two in this series, Stanton is back on pace to reach the 60-mark. Stanton was walked four times on Tuesday night.
“The walks are ok,” Stanton said. “You can get your timing on those pitches still. It's being smarter, and getting pitches out over the plate consistently.”
If he does, Stanton would become the sixth player in major-league history to do so and first since Barry Bonds (73) and Sammy Sosa (64) did it in 2001.
Of the Marlins’ remaining 10 games, three will be at Colorado’s Coors Field where Stanton has hit 10 home runs in 79 career at-bats and has a 1.211 OPS.
The Marlins play their next six on the road starting with three at Chase Field in Arizona before Colorado and finish next weekend with four at home against the Braves.
Stanton’s 56th home run matched the most ever hit in a season by Hall of Famers Cap Anson and Ken Griffey, Jr., one of Stanton’s favorites growing up.
“That's good company,” Stanton said. “I'm getting up there with some great company. That's a good one. [Griffey] was one of my favorite players. That was really cool.”
Stanton’s eighth-inning, two-run homer on Wednesday off reliever Erik Goeddel traveled 399 feet, but sped out of the park at 117 miles per hour according to Statcast. The three RBI gave Stanton 120 for the season, which is one short of the franchise record set in 2000 by Preston Wilson.
“That one had a motor on it, it kept going,” Stanton said. “The curveball already has that backspin that you need. You've got to clip it.”
▪ Stanton’s homer came three batters after A.J. Ellis and Miguel Rojas hit back-to-back solo home runs. It was the fifth time the Marlins have hit back-to-back homers this season. The Marlins (72-80) hit nine home runs in the series overall.
▪ The offensive barrage backed up another gem by starter Jose Ureña, who picked up his team-best 14th victory of the season. Ureña pitched eight innings, and gave up two runs on seven hits while striking out three. He had no walks.
“The last game in Milwaukee, [Ureña] gets frustrated when I take him out, but he’s at 105 [pitches] in the third [inning] and things like that,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “So it was good to see him get extended, put the ball in play. I thought him and A.J. [Ellis] both did a nice job of just staying with a plan and not just giving in to him throwing a bunch of fastballs.”
Ureña lasted eight innings on the one-year anniversary of Jose Fernandez’s final start, also an eight-inning gem.
“It’s sad when you remember things like that,” Ureña said. “But it’s important to remember God has a plan. We always have him as someone valuable to us and not just for us but for all the people that were there and knew what kind of person he was.”
Rojas underwent an MRI on Tuesday that revealed a minor tear in left rotator cuff.
Rojas, who started Wednesday’s game, said the injury will not require surgery in the offseason and he would still be available for the remainder of this season.
"The doctor told me it wouldn’t need surgery," Rojas said. "I’ll just need to rest it and rehab it well in the offseason to be ready to go next year and just be cautious when I’m out there the rest of this year."
Friday: Marlins LHP Adam Conley (7-7, 5.20 ERA) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (17-6, 2.87), 9:40 p.m., Chase Field.