Stanton hits major league-leading 47th homer as Marlins rally past Phillies
PHILADELPHIA — In the thick of the wild-card chase, the Miami Marlins couldn’t afford a four-game split with the MLB-worst Philadelphia Phillies.
And staring down a five-run deficit after four innings on the road, the Marlins’ offense woke up at the right time to keep them in the chase.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his major league-leading 47th homer as the Miami Marlins rallied from a five-run deficit and reached the .500 mark with a 9-8 victory over the Phillies on Thursday.
“The boys hung in today,” said Marlins skipper Don Mattingly, whose team swept a doubleheader Tuesday before getting drilled 8-0 on Wednesday. “I think it changes our trip, honestly. You’re in a position that you can’t afford, we sweep a doubleheader, get a little momentum, and then get beat up last night.
“If it happened again today, that kind of takes the wind out of your sails a little bit, but the fact that we were able to win a series, the last two, we go home, get a chance to do it, hopefully we set the tone tomorrow in the first game.”
Prior to Thursday, the Marlins (63-63) hadn’t been .500 for the first time since April 27. Getting back there also puts them right back in the wild-card hunt.
With 36 games to play, Miami is exactly 5 1/2 games back of Colorado (69-58) for the final playoff spot in the National League. Milwaukee (66-62) and St. Louis (64-62) are also in the way.
“We need all the wins we can get right now, that was a big one for us,” said center fielder Christian Yelich, who went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. “Credit to the guys for battling the whole game and grinding it out. That was a good team win, team effort from everybody. It was a good way to cap the road trip.”
Stanton hit his latest homer in the third inning off Jake Thompson before the Phillies took an 8-3 lead.
A.J. Ellis started the comeback with a two-run homer in the fifth, Yelich hit a solo homer in the sixth and J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run inside-the-park homer to tie the game in the sixth.
Realmuto’s homer hit off the angled center-field wall and rolled away from two Philadelphia outfielders.
After hitting his second career inside-the-park homer, Realmuto drove in the tiebreaking run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth off Luis Garcia (1-4).
“(The inside-the-park home run) was nice,” Mattingly said. “And actually the next one he hit, the line drive to score the run, if that ball gets by, that might have been another one right there.”
Miami’s bullpen was strong in relief of Vance Worley, who gave up eight runs in four innings of work. Five different relievers threw an inning each, limiting the Phillies offense to three hits and no runs.
Jarlin Garcia (1-2) threw a perfect seventh inning, striking out two, for his first major league win. Brad Ziegler pitched the ninth for his eighth save of the season, all of which have come this month.
Rookie Rhys Hopkins drove in three runs and hit his eighth homer for the Phillies. Tommy Joseph also homered and drove in three runs while rookie Nick Williams drove in the other two runs for Philadelphia.
“Great to see the guys swinging the bats and score runs the way they did, but pitching’s the name of the game, we didn’t see good pitching today,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
Thompson allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings after being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the game. He was sent back down immediately afterwards.
The Marlins took a 1-0 lead when Stanton scored on a ground-rule double by Marcell Ozuna after Williams lost the ball in center field. That was the second issue Williams had in the frame, after allowing Stanton’s pop-up to drop in front of him.
“The first one he misplayed, the second one, he got lost in the sun,” Mackanin said. “They scored a run, it happens.”
Stanton put the Marlins up 2-1 when he homered to center field. The Marlins went up 3-1 on an RBI single by Derek Dietrich.
NOTES: To make room for RHP Jake Thompson on the roster, the Phillies optioned RHP Ricardo Pinto to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. ... Phillies LF Rhys Hoskins hit his eighth home run, tying him for the MLB record amongst all players in their first 15 games. ... The Phillies next welcome the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs to town for a three-game series Friday. Philadelphia RHP Jerad Eickhoff (3-7, 4.46 ERA) will face Chicago LHP Jose Quintana (8-10, 4.27) in the series opener. ... The Marlins will head home for a three-game series against the San Diego Padres on Friday night has Miami LHP Adam Conley (6-5, 4.93) against San Diego LHP Travis Wood (3-4, 5.81).