MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton had two hits and one RBI, but failed to hit his 60th home run as his Miami Marlins lost to the Atlanta Braves 8-5 in Sunday’s regular season finale at Marlins Park.
Stanton singled twice, struck out twice out and grounded to shortstop. Still, he goes down in baseball history as the sixth player to hit at least 59 homers in a season, joining Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.
In the ninth, after Stanton struck out on a high 0-2 slider by reliever Arodys Vizcaino, the fans showed their support. They chanted “MVP!”, and Stanton came out of the dugout, tipped his cap, pounded his heart and raised his fist in a salute to the fans.
Without a power show from Stanton, the biggest home run of the day was hit by Atlanta’s Adonis Garcia, whose three-run shot in the seventh gave the Braves an 8-4 lead.
Miami’s Marcell Ozuna also went deep for his 37th homer of the season.
Neither starting pitcher earned a decision. Miami’s Jose Urena allowed three runs in five innings. Atlanta’s Max Fried gave up four runs (two earned) in 4 1/3 innings.
Braves reliever Dan Winkler (1-1) earned his first major league win, pitching one scoreless inning. Marlins reliever Junichi Tazawa (3-5) took the defeat, allowing three runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Atlanta opened the scoring with three runs in the third inning. Kurt Suzuki hit his 19th homer of the season, a two-run shot, and Freddie Freeman, who tripled to the right-field corner, scored on a Nick Markakis RBI groundout.
Miami took a 4-3 lead in the fifth, although only two runs were earned thanks to a throwing error on Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson. Stanton got an RBI single in the inning.
Swanson redeemed himself to some extent in the sixth. He hit a leadoff single, moved up on a walk and a sacrifice bunt before scoring the tying run on Ozzie Albies’ groundout.
Atlanta took an 8-4 lead with four runs in the seventh. Swanson’s RBI single gave Atlanta a 5-4 advantage, and Garcia’s homer provided a cushion.
Ozuna’s solo home run in the seventh was a line drive to dead center.
NOTES: The Marlins announced their annual team awards with RF Giancarlo Stanton winning MVP, and LHP Jarlin Garcia getting Rookie of the Year. SS Miguel Rojas was given the “Good Guy” media award, and C J.T. Realmuto won the Conine Award for integrity and unselfish play. ... Braves 1B Freddie Freeman was named team MVP. His triple Sunday was only his second of the year. ... Marlins LHP Wei-Yin Chen (elbow) will not need surgery and should be ready for spring training. ... Braves manager Brian Snitker enters the offseason uncertain about his future with the team. The team has an option to pick up his contract for another year or release him and look for a new manager.