Urena, Stanton fuel Marlins in rout of Mets
MIAMI — The Miami Marlins may never have another pitcher with the combined talent and outgoing personality of Jose Fernandez, who died last year in a boat crash.
But on the one-year anniversary of the last game ever pitched by Fernandez, another Jose showed yet more signs he is ready to step up to become Miami’s new ace.
Jose Urena, backed by Giancarlo Stanton’s major-league-leading 56th homer, led Miami to a 9-2 win and a three-game sweep over the New York Mets on Wednesday afternoon.
Urena (14-6) allowed seven hits, no walks and two runs in eight innings, striking out three. He has won five of his past six decisions.
In Fernandez’s final start last year, he beat the Washington Nationals 1-0, winning his 16th game in a three-hit masterpiece in which he struck out 12 and walked none.
“It’s sad when you remember things like that,” Urena said when asked about Fernandez. “But it’s important to remember God has a plan.
“We always have (Fernandez) as something valuable to us and to all the people who knew what kind of person he was.”
Stanton went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, including a two-run shot in the eighth that went 399 feet to left and was clocked at 117 mph.
“That one had a motor on it,” Stanton said. “It kept going.”
Stanton is on pace to hit 60 homers this season, which would make him the sixth player in major league history to reach that milestone. Stanton on Wednesday matched the career high of 56 homers hit by Ken Griffey Jr.
“I’m getting up there with great company,” Stanton said. “That’s a good one. (Griffey) was one of my favorite players.”
Stanton also has 120 RBIs, one short of the franchise record set by Preston Wilson in 2000.
The Marlins (72-80) received more support from Marcell Ozuna and Justin Bour. Ozuna had three hits, including a pair of two-out RBI singles, both with two strikes. Bour hit a two-run homer to tie his career high with his 23 blasts. Bour has 71 RBIs, two short of his career high.
New York (65-87) dropped 12 of its 19 games to the Marlins this year.
Rafael Montero (5-11) took the loss, lasting just four innings and allowing seven hits, two walks and five runs.
“They weren’t falling for my changeup,” Montero said. “They were recognizing it early.”
Montero got in trouble with the first batter he faced as Dee Gordon doubled, advanced on a single and scored when Ozuna banged a single off the wall in right.
Miami scored three runs in the third — all with two outs. Christian Yelich walked on a full pitch, stole second and scored on another clutch Ozuna single. Bour then drove his homer to center, giving Miami a 4-0 lead.
Stanton’s two-out single to right gave the Marlins a 5-0 lead in the fourth.
New York strung together three singles — by Kevin Plawecki, Travis Taijeron and Travis d’Arnaud — in the fifth to get on the board. D’Arnaud’s RBI hit came with two outs on an opposite-field fly ball that fell just inside the right-field line.
Brandon Nimmo’s seventh-inning homer, his fourth of the season, cut New York’s deficit to 5-2. Nimmo pulled his shot just inside the right-field pole.
Two players not known for power hit back-to-back homers in the eighth to give Miami a 7-2 lead. Backup catcher A.J. Ellis hit his fifth of the season, and shortstop Miguel Rojas hit his first, slamming his pitch off the pole in left.
Stanton followed later in the inning with his blast to cap the scoring.
“He kills us,” Mets manager Terry Collins said of Stanton, who has 35 career homers against New York — the most of any active player since 2010, way ahead of the 20 hit by Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves.
“You can’t hang stuff. We had (Stanton pitched) down and away all series long. But when you make mistakes on the plate, he kills you, and he did today.”
NOTES: Mets SS Amed Rosario, who was hospitalized late Monday night due to a stomach illness, missed his third straight game. ... RHP Jeurys Familia, who had 94 saves the past two seasons but only three this year due to a suspension and injuries, is expected to be used as a closer at least once before this season ends. ... Miami LHP Chris O’Grady (right oblique) was activated from the disabled list. ... Marlins rookie LHP Dillon Peters, who missed nearly three months this year due to a thumb injury in the minors, will pitch in the Arizona Fall League to speed his development. ... Miami starts a six-game trip with Friday’s visit to the Arizona Diamondbacks. ... New York plays the next seven in a row at home, starting with Friday’s game against the Washington Nationals.