MIAMI — Giancarlo Stanton belted his 50th homer of the season, a two-run, go-ahead shot in the eighth inning, as the Miami Marlins swept the San Diego Padres with a 6-2 victory at Marlins Park on Sunday afternoon.
Stanton hit an 84 mph pitch from Clayton Richard (6-13) to straight-away center. After circling the bases and celebrating with his teammates, Stanton left the dugout to tip his cap to the fans — a rare curtain call at Marlins Park.
In fact, for the first time all season, the chants serenaded Stanton with chants of “MVP!” and they certainly have a case. Stanton had three RBIs on Sunday and has a team-high 108 for the season.
He went 3-for-3 with a walk to raise his batting average to .296. He leads the National League in extra-base hits and OPS, and he needs 10 more homers to become just the sixth player in major league history to reach 60 in a season.
The Marlins (66-63) have won four games in a row and 13 of their past 16. Since May 28, the Marlins have one of the top four records in the majors at 49-33.
Miami’s Dan Straily allowed two runs in six innings but got a no-decision. Reliever Kyle Barraclough (5-1), who pitched a scoreless eighth, picked up the win.
San Diego (57-73), which has the second-youngest team in the majors, has lost three games in a row. The Padres hadn’t been swept by the Marlins in three or more games since 2012.
Miami scored twice with two outs in the third inning. Dee Gordon bunted for a hit and scored from first when Stanton laced his opposite-field double to right. San Diego tried to get Gordon at the plate, which allowed Stanton to reach third. On the next play, Richard bounced a wild pitch, allowing Stanton to score.
Richard made up for that mistake by pulling a two-run homer down the right-field line, tying the score 2-2 in the fifth. It was his second career homer and his first since 2012.
Richard, who turns 34 next month, entered the game with a .114 batting average and a .298 OPS in 273 career at-bats.
After Stanton’s homer put Miami up 4-2, the Marlins added two more runs in that inning. Christian Yelich grounded a triple just past first base and scored on a throwing error by second baseman Carlos Asuaje on a relay play. It was Yelich’s first triple of the year.
Two batters later, Derek Dietrich drilled his eighth homer of the season and his second in two games.
NOTES: SS Miguel Rojas, who rested one day after his first career walk-off RBI, said his Marlins are “coming for Arizona and Colorado,” the teams Miami is chasing in the wild-card race. ... Padres RHP Miguel Diaz (forearm strain) will soon make his third and final rehab start and could return to the majors in about a week. ... Padres LHP Brad Hand has a 1.19 ERA in his past 29 games. ... Padres RHP Dinelson Lamet allowed 11 homers in his first nine starts. In his past seven starts, he has allowed just one homer. ... Padres RHP Jhoulys Chacin, who jammed his throwing hand on Wednesday, is expected to start Monday when the Padres return home to face the San Francisco Giants. That starts an 11-game homestand. ... The Marlins on Monday start a three-game series at the first-place Washington Nationals.