Miami Marlins

Stanton smacks homer among his four hits, backs up Fernandez in 7-2 Marlins win

Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton hits a single in the first inning of the Miami Marlins vs New York Mets game at Marlins Park in Little Havana in Miami on Saturday, July 23, 2016.
Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton hits a single in the first inning of the Miami Marlins vs New York Mets game at Marlins Park in Little Havana in Miami on Saturday, July 23, 2016. pportal@elnuevoherald.com

The sound Giancarlo Stanton’s bat made was enough to know the ball was leaving the park.

Dontrelle Willis knew it, too.

“I almost swore on TV when I heard the sound off his bat,” said Willis, the former Marlins pitcher who nearly jumped off his seat during a guest appearance on the local Fox Sports telecast.

Willis and the rest of the estimated crowd of 26,841 at Marlins Park on Saturday night watched Stanton, the reigning Home Run Derby champion, smack a 441-foot blast to left field that put the Marlins on course to a 7-2 victory over the Mets.

“We’re grabbing those close games, and those are going to be big to take pressure off toward the end,” Stanton said. “We have to get the series [on Sunday] or [Saturday night] won’t mean much.”

Stanton’s two-run home run bounced high off the scoreboard beyond the left-field stands and came with the Marlins (53-44) trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the third.

It put them ahead for good, and the Marlins would total 16 hits and chase Jacob deGrom (6-5) from the game early.

“It was a weird vibe those first couple of innings going back and forth and who was going to make the bigger play,” Stanton said. “I didn’t break any lights [with the home run ball], so [that’s good].”

Stanton hit his third homer off deGrom in his past two starts against the Marlins, having also hit two on July 6 against him in New York. Stanton has hit five home runs in his past four games against the Mets.

“[Stanton’s] a great player,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He had a rough start [to the season]. That’s part of the game. But if you make pitches, you can get anyone out. You can, whatever name on it. I saw [Barry] Bonds. I saw them get him out, too. You just have to make better pitches.”

DeGrom threw 94 pitches and gave up a season-high 10 hits in only  3 2/3 innings, the second-shortest outing of his career. He allowed five earned runs, with five strikeouts and one walk.

“I wasn’t very good [Saturday] — seemingly everything I threw went down the middle, and I paid for it,” deGrom said. “It doesn’t help when you throw 30 pitches an inning.”

Stanton’s towering shot was his 21st home run of the season and his first since the All-Star break, when he became the Marlins’ first Home Run Derby champion.

Stanton went 4 for 5 with three RBI and recorded his fourth career four-hit game and first since Aug. 8, 2012.

“I don’t care much about [it being the first homer since the All-Star break] because I feel good,” Stanton said. “If I wasn’t hitting the ball hard, maybe it would be different, but I feel good.”

Stanton highlighted a 16-hit outburst by the Marlins that backed ace Jose Fernandez on the way to his 12th win of the season, which matched his single-season career high.

“To me, it was everything [Saturday night],” Fernandez said. “I was out there giving everything I had [on] every pitch. That’s normally my goal, but knowing this game was against the Mets and they’re [a] half-game behind us, these games coming up, we know how important they are.”

Fernandez pitched seven innings, allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out seven to improve to 26-1 in 37 career starts at Marlins Park with a 1.47 ERA.

Fernandez also had two hits and drove in the Marlins’ first run in the second inning.

Miami Marlins pitching ace Jose Fernandez speaks to the media about his start Saturday, July 23, 2016, and his team's 7-2 win over the Mets.

Christian Yelich added three hits, and Martin Prado and Adeiny Hechavarria each had two.

“We’ve had quite a few of these with team effort,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Jose was good and the guys did a great job against deGrom and fighting him, and extending pitch counts and scoring off of that.”

Ichiro Suzuki pinch hit in the eighth inning but grounded out to second, keeping him four hits shy of the 3,000-hit mark for his major-league career.

CHEN SCRATCHED

Multiple reports on social media late Saturday night indicated that left-hander Wei-Yin Chen would be scratched from his next scheduled start Monday night against the Phillies.

The reports also stated that Jarred Cosart would be called up from the minors to start in his place.

The reports did not say why Chen will not be able to pitch Monday.

Chen was the only starting pitcher not seen in the Marlins’ clubhouse following Saturday night’s victory over the Mets.

Chen, whom the Marlins signed to a five-year, $80 million deal in the offseason, is 5-4 with a 4.99 ERA in 19 starts this season.

Cosart would be making his fourth start of the season and first since April 22 in San Francisco. Cosart went 0-1 with a 7.98 ERA in his first three starts before being sent to Triple A on April 26.

He spent a month on the minor-league disabled list with a strained oblique and has gone 3-4 with a 4.09 ERA in 10 starts for New Orleans since his demotion.

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