Miami Marlins

Giancarlo Stanton hits 478-foot home run but Mat Latos injured as Miami Marlins fall to Atlanta Braves again

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Mat Latos lies on the field after being hit with a ball in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park in Miami on May 16, 2015.
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Mat Latos lies on the field after being hit with a ball in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park in Miami on May 16, 2015. AP

Giancarlo Stanton’s home run tear continued Saturday afternoon.

His latest tape-measure shot exploded off his bat at 115 miles per hour and traveled an estimated 478 feet into the second deck in center field, the second-longest home run ever hit at Marlins Park and the third-longest of Stanton’s career.

“We didn’t think it was going to come as far as it did,” said Ryan Mont, a 29-year-old fan from West Palm Beach who leaned over the railing in the first row of Section 134 — the second deck in center field — and made a bare-handed catch of Stanton’s screamer.

“At first [my hand] didn’t hurt because of the adrenaline,” Mont added. “But now it hurts.”

Mont’s right hand is bruised, but it hardly compares to the agony Mat Latos’ right shin is in.

Cameron Maybin’s comebacker to the mound left Latos writhing in pain in the fourth inning, the toughest moment of them all for the Marlins in a 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

Afterward, manager Mike Redmond said X-rays performed on Latos’ right shin and right ankle were negative for fractures, meaning outside of some bruises and swelling Latos should be OK to make his next scheduled start Thursday against the Diamondbacks.

But that doesn’t mean the next few days won’t be painful.

“It’s probably the worst spot to get it — it’s right on the bone and squared me up pretty good,” said Latos, who used a crutch to gingerly hobble out of the clubhouse Saturday.

“Dexter Fowler once got me right in my hip, and that was pretty bad. But that was a meaty spot, and I shook it off and was able to pitch,” Latos said.

“This one, I saw where the ball went, and I tried to go after it. But from where it hit me, all the way down, it was completely numb. When I got the feeling back is when it really started hurting.”

The Braves (17-19) inflicted pain in a lot of ways Saturday. Jace Peterson’s second-inning grand slam — the first home run of his career — and seven strong innings from starting pitcher Alex Wood were the big blows as Atlanta beat the Marlins (16-21) for the fifth time in a row this season at Marlins Park.

Tom Koehler, who found out Friday night he was heading to the bullpen with Henderson Alvarez returning Sunday, came on in relief and tossed three scoreless innings.

Koehler, Nick Masset (seventh inning) and former closer Steve Cishek (eighth and ninth) combined for six innings of scoreless relief to help keep the Marlins in the game the rest of the way.

But the Marlins couldn’t produce when it mattered. Wood worked himself out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth by getting Adeiny Hechavarria to pop out to the catcher and pinch-hitter Donovan Solano to fly out to center. Hechavarria also was picked off second base to end the fourth inning, one of two Marlins that Woods nabbed on the bases Saturday.

“Just too aggressive, too big a leads for the situation,” Redmond said. “I mean, we’re not running anywhere.”

Hechavarria doubled and scored on Dee Gordon’s single in the ninth, and the Marlins brought the tying run to the place twice against Braves closer Jason Grilli.

But Grilli struck out Martin Prado swinging and got Stanton to pop out to shallow center field to end the game.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said they considered walking Stanton, who hit two other balls to the warning track in previous at-bats for outs.

But Atlanta opted against putting the tying run on base in the ninth.

Stanton said he put a good swing on a first-pitch fastball but just missed it.

“[Grilli] was not going to give me another one, on purpose,” Stanton said.

Wood (2-2, 3.83 ERA) scattered seven hits and two walks over seven innings and now has both of his wins this season against the Marlins.

On the flip side, Latos (1-4, 5.54) has now lost all three of his starts against the Braves this season, giving up 14 earned runs over 72/3 innings.

“When you talk about winning ballgames and getting on rolls and streaks you have to get those big two-out hits, and we just haven’t been able to get them,” said Redmond, whose team finished 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position Saturday and is now 3 for 19 in those situations in the series.

“It was one of those days where [Stanton] gets on those rolls where you want to get him to the plate as much as you possibly can. [Saturday] was definitely one of those days where I felt like he could have easily hit a home run there in the ninth, too. But we’ve got to collectively around him do some damage, too.”

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