Stanton kept in park in Marlins’ rout of Braves
MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton didn’t get to 60, but Miami Marlins teammate Dee Gordon did.
Gordon went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two steals -- he reached 60 stolen bases in the process -- in leading Miami to a 10-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night at Marlins Park.
Stanton, who has 59 homers, is chasing a different milestone than Gordon. Stanton went 1-for-5 with one RBI and two strikeouts. In his final at-bat of the night, he struck out looking at a 94 mph fastball on the outside corner from reliever Jim Johnson.
On Sunday, Stanton will get one more game in which to try to reach the magical mark of 60 homers as Miami (77-84) hosts Atlanta (71-90) in the regular-season finale.
Gordon said he’s confident Stanton will hit at least one homer on Sunday.
“I don’t know if you all know, but he plays way better the day after he is (bleeped) off,” Gordon said. “He’s going to make some noise tomorrow. ... I know he’s going to get it.”
Saturday’s crowd at Marlins Park seemed to react to every Stanton swing -- not that Gordon noticed the fans.
“No, because I was reacting to each one, too,” Gordon said with a laugh. “That’s my friend. That’s my brother. I want it more than him.”
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he will bat Stanton leadoff instead of second in the lineup on Sunday, which could possibly give him one more at-bat if it works out that way.
Mattingly was asked about Stanton’s approach.
“I think he’s trying to hit homers,” Mattingly said. “I mean, why not? I don’t think that’s his approach all the time. ... I like when he tries to shoot it.”
Gordon, meanwhile, also became just the third player in Marlins history to reach 200 hits in one season, joining Juan Pierre and Hanley Ramirez. Only Pierre and Gordon had 200 hits and 60-plus steals in a season.
In addition, Gordon tied his career high with his 59th multi-hit game and his 16th bunt single. The only Marlins to have more bunt hits in one season were Emilio Bonifacio and Chuck Carr.
“It’s pretty cool,” Gordon said of all his feats. “It means I‘m getting on base for the boys.”
Other stars for the Marlins were Derek Dietrich, who hit a three-run homer for his 13th of the season, and starter Odrisamer Despaigne (2-3), who struck out six, walked one and allowed just two runs in seven innings. He has won two straight starts after not winning a major league game in two years.
Braves rookie right-hander Lucas Sims (3-6) lasted just two innings, his shortest start of the year. He allowed seven hits, four walks and six runs.
“Two long innings,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Sims’ performance. “It wasn’t clicking, and we just couldn’t get it going.”
Sims got into trouble immediately, allowing a hit on the first batter he faced as Gordon doubled down the first-base line and came around to score on Justin Bour’s sacrifice fly.
Miami kept that inning going with Dietrich’s three-run homer, a shot just inside the foul pole in right field. Miguel Rojas capped the five-run rally with an RBI triple.
Rookie Brian Anderson hit a run-scoring double in the sixth, giving the Marlins a 6-0 lead in the second. Miami stretched its lead to 8-0 in the fifth, getting RBI singles from Stanton and Christian Yelich.
Atlanta finally got on the board in the seventh, getting RBI singles from Dansby Swanson and Matt Adams.
Miami’s Tyler Moore closed the scoring with a two-run single in the eighth.
Overall, it was a good night for the Marlins with the exception of not getting No. 60 for Stanton, and that fact was not lost on Sims, the Braves starter.
“I was able to not give into (Stanton),” Sims said, “but I couldn’t get the other guys out.”
NOTES: Marlins SS Miguel Rojas tied a career high with four hits. ... Marlins manager Don Mattingly said backup catcher A.J. Ellis will serve as honorary manager on Sunday. ... Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton and LF Marcell Ozuna are the first major league teammates to each have more than 120 RBIs in the same season since 2005. In that year, the feat was accomplished by Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, and Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield of the New York Yankees. ... Braves RHP R.A. Dickey, 42, is pondering retirement. If he decides to return, the Braves can either exercise his 2018 option for $8 million or pay him a $500,000 buyout. Dickey told MLB.com his decision will be based on the wishes of his wife and four children. ... RHP Jose Urena (14-7, 3.77 ERA) tries to cap a breakthrough year when he pitches Miami’s season finale Sunday. Atlanta will start rookie RHP Max Fried (1-1, 3.74).