Three days after becoming only the fourth player to hit a ball out of Dodger Stadium, Giancarlo Stanton hit one at Marlins Park where nobody else had yet ‒ inside the center field camera well, a whopping 474 feet from the plate.
The 113 mph laser beam off Cody Martin in the seventh inning was Stanton’s second home run of the night Friday, marking the 14th time in his career he has hit two in a game.
Unfortunately for the Marlins, like the blast he unleashed in L.A. on Tuesday, nobody was on base when Stanton hit his latest pair against the Braves.
On a night in which the Marlins finished 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base, Atlanta emerged with a 5-3 victory.
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“He was locked in,” manager Mike Redmond said of Stanton, who has hit 102 of his 164 career homers with nobody on base, including six of 10 this season. “That first homer was so high it looked like it was going to hit the ceiling. It was one of those nights it would have been great if we got a couple guys on base when he’s swinging the bat.”
The fact the Marlins (16-20) couldn’t produce a shutdown inning right after they scored also hurt. Atlanta scored twice in the second, once in the fourth and then twice in the eight ‒ innings right after the Marlins scored runs.
Atlanta, which swept Miami in three games here to open the season, broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth with three consecutive one-out hits off Mike Dunn and Bryan Morris. The go-ahead run, charged to Dunn, was scored on a single to center by Todd Cunninghman, who finished 3 for 4 with a pair of runs in his first career start since being called up Wednesday from the minors to fill in for the injured Kelly Johnson.
Atlanta (16-19) then added a big insurance run against Morris with two outs after a double steal and a wild pitch on a strikeout of Christian Bethancourt.
For Miami’s bullpen, it was another disappointing performance. Marlins relievers came into the game with the 24th-worst ERA in baseball and saw it grow to 4.59.
“Against [Nick] Markakis it was supposed to be a slider down and away in the dirt,” said Dunn, who gave up the double to Markakis that started the Braves’ rally in the eighth before being yanked for Morris. “The ball came out a little early, I hung it and it was up and in. It was a terrible pitch.”
David Phelps, meanwhile, gave the Marlins another quality start ‒ his sixth in place of the injured Henderson Alvarez.
Phelps, who never had a chance to spend an entire season in a rotation in his first three years with the Yankees, gave up three runs (one earned) on nine hits over six innings with eight strikeouts. But he couldn’t get the outs when he needed them, giving up a two-out, two-run single to fellow starting pitcher Julio Teheran after a nine-pitch battle in the second inning.
“It’s the pitcher ‒ you’ve got to get him out right there,” Phelps said. “It’s probably the most frustrating thing of the night. The numbers at the end of the day look good, but it’s not a good job. Every time we scored I went back out and gave up runs. I wasn’t really getting leadoff hitters out. It was just a frustrating outing.”
▪ Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon recorded his 11th three-hit game of the season and is now hitting .516 (32 of 62) at Marlins Park this season.