Marcell Ozuna put a dent in the the scoreboard. Giancarlo Stanton put one in the record books.
It was a home run party for the Marlins on Monday at Miller Park, where the blasts were both deep and profound as Miami kept its faint playoff hopes alive with a 6-4 win over the Brewers.
With a third-inning solo shot off Yovani Gallardo, Stanton tied Dan Uggla atop the Marlins’ all-time home run list with 154. And with his tape-measure shot off the scoreboard in center, Ozuna hit the longest home run by a visiting player at Miller Park -- a 462-footer, according to ESPN Stats and Info -- since Albert Pujols went a foot longer in 2008.
"I told him that wouldn't go out our park," Stanton said he joked to Ozuna afterward. "That was a good one, though, one where you kind of sit there to see if it actually happened. That was a bomb."
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The long balls added up to a big win for the Marlins as they opened a 10-game road trip with a victory over a team that sits in front of them in the National League wild card race. The reeling Brewers have lost 12 of their past 13 games.
"They're not playing their best as of late, so we can't be the team that turns them back around," Stanton said. "We've got to keep it up."
Gallardo had never lost to the Marlins before, going 5-0 with a 1.12 ERA in his seven career starts against them. But it was bombs away off the Brewers’ right-hander, as Garrett Jones also joined in the home run act.
The beneficiary was Brad Penny, who moved ahead of A.J. Burnett and into fourth place on the team’s all-time list with his 50th win as a Marlin. Penny turned in six solid innings, holding the Brewers to a pair of first-inning runs on four hits.
He was aided by three double play ground balls.
"Today I was a different pitcher," said Penny, who was knocked out early in his previous outing. "I came out and threw a lot of two-seamers, which is probably the first time I've done it in my career."
Of the first 13 outs recorded by Penny, 11 were on ground balls hit to the left side of the infield.
"That was just the sinker running in," Penny said. "I'm a four-seam guy. Throwing a two-seamer, everything is moving off of the catcher. I'm a different guy now. I can't go out there and overpower hitters, and I don't need to try to."
Penny struck out only one batter.
But Penny was emboldened more than anything by a big early lead, handed to him in the second when the Marlins started cranking.
Ozuna led off the inning with a gargantuan shot that struck fairly high up on the scoreboard in straightaway center. It was Ozuna’s 20th homer, and he boasted to teammates in the clubhouse beforehand that No. 20 would be special.
"(Jordany) Valdespin told me, 'When are you going to get your 20th,'" Ozuna said. "I said, 'Wait and see. That ball is going to be far away and ugly.' That's what we say in the Dominican."
He made good on his promise.
According to ESPN’s home run tracker, the blast ranks as the 18th-longest hit this season in the majors.
But that was just the start of it.
Jones followed Ozuna’s tape-measure shot with an opposite-field shot that put the Marlins ahead, 3-2. It was the second time this season that the Marlins hit back-to-back homers. Jarrod Salatalamacchia and Jones did it on April 25.
Then came Stanton, who had found Miller Park -- friendly to most hitters -- to his particular liking. Stanton went into the game with a paltry .171 average and only one home run in Milwaukee, which he hit there his rookie season in 2010.
But the Marlins’ slugger led off the third with his 37th homer, matching a career high and joining him with Uggla in the team’s record books. It took Stanton 631 games to hit his 154th. By comparison, it took Uggla 776 games to hit the same number.
After knocking Gallardo out in the fourth, though, the Marlins fell silent at the plate, mustering only two harmless singles off Milwaukee mop-up man Marco Estrada.
The Brewers scored two runs in the eighth off A.J. Ramos to trim the deficit.
But Steve Cishek worked the ninth for his 33rd save. He struck out Ryan Braun to start the inning, reached behind his back to snare a Khris Davis smash up the middle for the second out, and ended it on a Lyle Overbay ground out.
Long drive to the top
Giancarlo Stanton’s 37th home run of the season tied his career-high for a single season and also tied him with Dan Uggla for the franchise career record:
|1. Gary Sheffield||42||1996|
|T2. Giancarlo Stanton||37||2014|
|T2. Giancarlo Stanton||37||2012|
|T4. Giancarlo Stanton||34||2011|
|T4. Miguel Cabrera||34||2007|
|T1. Giancarlo Stanton||154|
|T1. Dan Uggla||154|
|3. Hanley Ramirez||148|
|4. Mike Lowell||143|
|5. Miguel Cabrera||138|