Stanton's mammoth shot not enough as Braves beat Marlins 5-3
May. 16, 2015
MIAMI (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton's final flyball of the afternoon hung in the air long enough for Atlanta Braves closer Jason Grilli to pound his glove several times in jubilation before center fielder Cameron Maybin caught it for the final out.
Stanton hit another tape-measure homer and two long outs, but Grilli retired him on a routine popup with a runner on Saturday to seal a 5-3 victory over the Miami Marlins.
"We know that if you make a mistake, he can hit it a long ways," Grilli said. "We have a good approach with him, and it worked."
Rookie Jace Peterson hit a grand slam for his first major league home run for the Braves, who are 5-0 this year at Marlins Park and 12-19 everywhere else.
"I'm not a gambler, so I don't know what the odds are on that," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Major league RBIs leader Stanton hit his third long homer this week, a solo shot into the upper deck in center field, where a spectator reached over a railing to make a one-handed catch five rows in front of the 502-foot sign.
Stanton, who has 11 home runs, ranked the latest with the longest he has hit, and it traveled farther than his drive into the TV camera well in center field Friday. He acknowledged being frustrated that the Marlins lost both games.
"It's never fun to lose," he said.
Stanton hit a drive out of Dodger Stadium on Wednesday in a win. He has five of his team's nine homers at Marlins Park this year, and 11 home runs overall.
Grilli gave up a run in the ninth, hiking his ERA to 5.11, but earned his 11th save in 12 chances.
Alex Wood (2-2) picked off two runners in seven innings and earned his first victory since he won at Miami in the second game of the season. Teammate Todd Cunningham went 3 for 4 for the second game in a row since being recalled from Triple-A.
The Marlins' Dee Gordon, who leads the majors in batting, went 1 for 5 with two RBIs, dropping his average to .425.
Mat Latos (1-4) allowed five runs before he left the game in the fourth inning with a bruised left shin after being hit in the leg by Cameron Maybin's line drive. X-rays were negative, but Latos left the clubhouse using a crutch and was noncommittal about making his next scheduled start.
An inning later, Miami right-hander Tom Koehler was hit in the back of the lower left leg by Nick Markakis' comebacker. Koehler stayed in the game and said afterward he was fine.
Wood allowed two runs, one earned, and picked off Ichiro Suzuki at first base and Adeiny Hechavarria at second.
"Too aggressive," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Too big a lead for the situation."
Even when Miami runners didn't get picked off, they had trouble making it home. The Marlins went 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position and are 3 for 21 in the series in those situations.
Stanton has three homers in the series, all leading off innings.
"We need to get some guys going," Koehler said. "His enormous home runs don't really mean much — they still only count as one. We've got to put it all together."
Stanton's homer was caught by 29-year-old Ryan Mont of West Palm Beach, attending his first Marlins game of the year.
"At first it was exciting, because I was like, 'I actually caught it,'" Mont said. "I was so excited I didn't think it hurt until after I handed the ball off and started sitting down for a while. And then I was like, 'Man, it really hurts.' I wish I had a glove."
Stanton was rounding the bases and didn't see Mont's catch.
"I heard about it," he said with a smile. "One-handed, right?"
Marlins right-hander Steve Cishek, who lost his job as closer this week, pitched two scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 8.78.
"We need him," Redmond said. "It was good to see him execute and make some good pitches."
Marlins: RHP Jarred Cosart, who left his most recent start with a cramp in his right thigh, said he felt fine throwing a bullpen session and running sprints before the game. He's expected to make his next scheduled start Tuesday against Arizona.
Marlins opening day starter Henderson Alvarez (0-2, 4.50) will rejoin the rotation Sunday when he starts against the Braves. The right-hander has been sidelined since April 12 with right shoulder and elbow inflammation. RHP Shelby Miller (4-1, 1.60) will start for the Braves, who have a shot at their first series sweep since winning three in a row in Miami to start the season.