Giancarlo Stanton had a nice day at the plate.
He just didn’t have a historic one.
Stanton went 2 for 5, recorded the hardest-hit base hit in the brief history of Statcast — a 122-mph single — but failed to produce a home run that would have given him 60.
The Marlins closed out the season with an 8-5 loss to the Braves.
Included in the crowd of 25,222 were incoming owner Derek Jeter and his predecessor, Jeffrey Loria. With nothing at stake in terms of the outcome, all eyes were glued on Stanton to see whether he would become the sixth player in Major League history to hit at least 60 home runs.
He came up short, becoming only the second player to hit exactly 59 homers. The other: Babe Ruth in 1921. In what was very possibly his final at-bat as a Marlin, Stanton struck out swinging.
The crowd gave him a standing ovation, and Stanton raised his bat in salute.
He was the majors’ home run leader, however, driving in another run to capture the National League RBI title with 132. Marcell Ozuna hit his 37th homer and drove in two more runs to finish with 124, the third-highest figure in the majors.
They became the first National League teammates to rank among the top three in RBI in the majors since Joe Morgan and George Foster of the Reds did it in 1976.
It might have been the final time the two players shared the same outfield, as there is increasing speculation that Jeter will begin a roster rebuild after taking over as owner with Bruce Sherman.
As they took the field in the top of the ninth, Stanton, Ozuna and Christian Yelich stood in center field and embraced.
▪ Stanton wasn’t the only Marlin trying to make history on Sunday. Ichiro Suzuki was attempting to equal the major league record of 28 pinch hits held by John Vander Wal. He, too, came up short, fouling out in his pinch at-bat in the sixth to finish with 27.
▪ Ozuna’s 37 homers equaled the third-highest total in Marlins history.
▪ Jose Ureña failed to record his 15th win as the Marlins squandered a 4-3 lead that put him in line for the victory.
▪ Dee Gordon didn’t steal any bases Sunday but held on to win the N.L. stolen base title, 60-59, over the Reds’ Billy Hamilton.
▪ Loria was on hand to watch his final game as Marlins owner on Sunday and acknowledged feeling emotion as he bid the organization goodbye after 17 seasons at the helm.
“Of course,” Loria said. “I love the game. But it’s time for somebody else to do it.”
The Marlins went 1,243-1,347 during Loria’s ownership for a win percentage of .480.
The Marlins never won a division title during Loria’s tenure but did capture the 2003 World Series after making the playoffs as a wild-card team.
“It’s turning a page,” Loria said. “But I can think of nothing but good memories.”
The new ownership group led by Sherman and Jeter is expected to close on the deal Monday.