Giancarlo Stanton hit a ball into the parking lot beyond the left-field stands at AT&T Park during batting practice Sunday morning.
Maybe it was an omen things were about to turn around for him and the struggling Marlins.
A little over an hour later, Stanton sent the ball sailing into the crowd in those same stands for a home run that coupled with another home run from J.T. Realmuto and some solid relief pitching to lift the Marlins to a 5-4 victory over the Giants.
“That was a good one,” manager Don Mattingly said. “We got a couple of guys going. J.T. was really good today. Giancarlo was good. [Marcell] Ozuna had two walks and two hits and probably showed the most patience [at the plate] we’ve seen him have, and just those guys getting some big outs at the end.”
The Marlins (6-11) avoided their first three-game sweep at San Francisco since Aug. 14-16, 2001, and won only their third game in their past 11.
Realmuto went 4 for 4, including a go-ahead solo blast to left-center field in the eighth inning, and posted the second four-hit game of his career after having gone 0 for 15 in four previous games at AT&T Park. His only other four-hit game came on June 5 of last season in Colorado.
“Obviously, it doesn’t feel good to go 0 for 15 anywhere, but it’s nice to come out here and as a team we really exploded offensively today,” Realmuto said. “That’s something we should able to carry on forward.”
The Marlins finished with 14 hits, their second-highest output this season.
“It’s huge for the team to kind of get on a roll like that,” Realmuto said. “Everybody that’s played the game of baseball knows that hitting is extremely contagious. It starts from the top all the way down to the bottom. Today we kind of showed that.
“We finally started to get the sticks going. A few guys have been struggling. As soon as we pick it up we’re going to be able to win a lot of baseball games.”
Christian Yelich reached base for the 17th consecutive game to start the season with a hit in the ninth and drove in two early runs on fielder’s choice ground balls.
Stanton, who entered the game hitting only .193, snapped an 0-for-8 skid in the series with three hits of his own and hit his fourth home run of the season and second in the past 11 games.
“I did have better batting practice, but I wouldn’t attribute it to that,” Stanton said. “I don’t really like taking BP on the field, necessarily. But just having one main focus and not worrying about this and that, or too many things, really.
“When you get zero production from your fourth hitter, you’re not going to win many games, which is kind of what we’ve seen, not necessarily RBIs or hits. Anything productive just keeps the line moving. That’s what helped out today, for sure.”
The offensive output would have been wasted if not for clutch performances from the late-inning tandem of David Phelps and closer A.J. Ramos.
Phelps gave up a walk to Brandon Crawford and a single to Gregor Blanco to start the eighth. He then walked Denard Span in an at-bat in which a couple of seemingly close pitches were not called strikes.
“I’m just thinking right there, bases loaded, no outs, [get a] pop up,” Phelps said. “I’m thinking more pop up than double play there because double play anywhere else ties the game.”
Phelps did get a double-play ball and a perfect one from Angel Pagan back to the mound that started a 1-2-3 double play.
Phelps then walked off the mound fired up moments later after he struck out Joe Panik looking on three pitches.
"It’s exciting because you’re keeping the run from crossing the plate," Phelps said. "I’ve had a few of those in my career. I like big situations. I kind of feed off it. For our team winning games right now is huge."
Ramos gave up a single in the ninth but slammed the door on the Giants to pick up his third save of the season and first since April 12 against the Mets.
Ramos had not pitched in a save situation since that game.
Marlins starter Adam Conley pitched 5 2/3 mostly solid innings but allowed four runs on seven hits and couldn’t pick up the victory.
The Giants came back to tie the game twice before Realmuto’s blast put the Marlins ahead for good and helped them pick up a victory they hope to carry into the next leg of their 10-game road trip.