Stanton breaks Marlins’ homer record in win over Giants
MIAMI — Dee Gordon, normally quiet around the media, strutted into the interview room and started talking happily even before the first question was asked.
“Yes, (Giancarlo) Stanton is good,” Gordon said with a smile, knowing that the Miami Marlins slugger was — again — the main story on the team, just as he has been so often the past month.
Earlier Monday night, Stanton broke the franchise single-season record for homers and knocked in three runs, leading Miami to an 8-3 win over the San Francisco Giants at Marlins Park.
Stanton’s 43rd homer of the year topped Gary Sheffield’s 21-year franchise record. It was the fifth straight game in which Stanton has homered, breaking another club record, and this time it was a two-run shot in the first following a Gordon single.
“It’s been my fault the past week and a half because I haven’t been getting on base to start the game, so he’s only been getting one RBI,” said Gordon, who went 3-for-5 and leads the National League with 16 games of three or more hits. “For him to get two RBIs was pretty cool.”
Facing Giants starter Ty Blach (8-8), Stanton lined a 2-0 pitch over the left-field fence. The pitch was clocked at 91 mph, and the drive went 382 feet, shorter than most of Stanton’s titanic blasts.
“It doesn’t need to be,” Stanton said of the distance. “(Blach’s pitch) was a little in on me.”
Gordon said this is the happiest he has seen Stanton.
“Finally,” Gordon said. “I’ve been with him for three years, and for him to finally have a smile on his face and some charisma is pretty cool.”
Gordon, who has 40 steals this season, said he won’t run anymore while Stanton is batting.
“I just have to stay still so he can hit,” Gordon said. “If I go to second, they might walk him.”
Stanton has hit 10 homers in his past 11 games and 22 long balls in his past 34 contests. He is on pace to hit 60 homers this season, a number that has been reached by only five players in major-league history: Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds.
“He’s not just a hot hitter,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Stanton. “We’re talking ‘en fuego’ with the long ball.”
The Marlins (57-60) have won four games in a row, tying their season best. The Giants (47-73) have the third-worst record in the majors.
Adam Conley (5-5) earned the win, allowing six hits, three walks and three runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Blach, only the third San Francisco Giants left-hander to win at least eight games as a rookie, allowed nine hits, three walks and six runs. Unfortunately for him, he got into trouble right away with Gordon and then Stanton.
“We were trying to get inside on (Stanton),” Blach said. “He tries to get his arms extended.”
After Stanton did just that, the Giants scored three times when they batted around in the third. The big blows were a two-run, ground-rule double by Denard Span that hopped the fence in right and Hunter Pence’s RBI single.
Miami rallied in the bottom of the third. Gordon singled and tagged up, taking second on a fly ball by Stanton that Span caught against the fence in left-center. Gordon scored on Christian Yelich’s single, tying the score 3-3.
Stanton came through with a two-out RBI single as part of a two-run fourth, stroking a 0-2 pitch to left. Gordon also contributed an RBI single in the inning.
Marcell Ozuna led off the fifth by hitting the first pitch over the fence in center. His 27th homer of the season gave Miami a 6-3 lead.
Miami closed the scoring with two more runs in the seventh, highlighted by Tyler Moore’s RBI double. Moore then scored on a Nick Hundley passed ball, and Miami nearly scored one more but shortstop Brandon Crawford threw Derek Dietrich out at the plate.
The story, though, was Stanton, and his teammates are thrilled for his success, especially after injuries have cut most of his prior seasons short.
“(Stanton) is finally healthy,” Gordon said, “and he’s killing people.”
NOTES: Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton, who hit .333 with six homers and 11 RBIs in seven games, was named the NL Player of the Week. It’s the fifth career Player of the Week honor for Stanton. ... Stanton is the Marlins’ all-time home run leader with 251. Dan Uggla is second with 154. ... Marlins RHP Kyle Barraclough (shoulder) is expected to come off the disabled list this week. ... Giants RHP Sam Dyson, a former Marlins reliever, has nine saves in 10 chances and a 2.23 ERA in 24 appearances for San Francisco. ... The Giants arrived in Miami a tired team, having played three games in 24 hours, including a doubleheader at the Washington Nationals that finished Sunday night. ... Giants RHP Johnny Cueto (right flexor) is set to throw a bullpen session this week. He hasn’t pitched since July 14.