Baseball / Sports

Stanton, Jones homer in Marlins' 10-3 rout of Diamondbacks

MIAMI -- Considering they did it five times over their first 60 games, the Marlins were hopeful double-digit run outputs would be relatively regular occurrences. Not so. Over their second 60, the Marlins had no 10-plus run games and scored more than five just six times.

Aiming for a return to .500 and a four-game series victory, the Marlins hung it on the Diamondbacks Sunday at Marlins Park. Five of their 12 hits, including homers from Giancarlo Stanton and Garrett Jones, went for extra-bases in a 10-3 rout.

Back at .500 (62-62) for the first time since July 29 (53-53), the Marlins had not scored 10 in a game in more than two months (11-6 win against the Rays on June 5).

"We know .500 doesn't mean much and we just need to continue to win series," Stanton said. "We've had close games all the way down to the wire for a while. To be able to secure this in the sixth, seventh inning was good."

Sunday marked only the fourth time in 30 games since the All-Star break they tagged an opposing starting pitcher for as many as five runs. Josh Collmenter when he faced them July 9 in Arizona held the Marlins to a run on seven hits over seven innings in a no-decision.

Christian Yelich initiated things with the first of his two doubles off Collmenter. He scored on the first of two Marlins' homers. Stanton sent a 3-1 offering into the visitors' bullpen for his 32nd and 149th of his career. He now owns sole possession of second place on the club's all-time list, six shy of eclipsing Dan Uggla for the top spot.

Two batters later, Jones added a solo shot for the first of his two hits on the day. He had been in a 1-for-19 skid with seven strikeouts and had totaled just three RBI over his previous 52 at-bats.

That four-spot represented more runs than the Marlins had scored in 13 of the last 14 meetings between the teams. The two-homer inning was the club's first since Marcell Ozuna and Jeff Baker went deep in the ninth inning of an 8-6 home loss to the Pirates on June 14.

"I don't know how many times 1/8Stanton3/8 has hit a home run for me in the first inning, but I love it," starter Tom Koehler said.

"To sit here and say we expect him to do that wouldn't be fair to him, but I know every time he swings the bat I feel there's a chance he's going to hit a homer. When he's playing at an MVP-caliber level like he is ... you have a good chance of winning the ballgame."

Double-digit runs and hits with five for extra-bases, including two from Yelich, were a welcome development for the Marlins. Since the All-Star break they'd totaled the third-fewest runs (93) among National League teams, ahead of only the Mets (90) and Reds (85).

Yelich, who went 3-for-5 and got his batting average back to the .280 mark, has hit safely in each of the seven games this homestand at a .481 clip (13-for-27) with six runs, four doubles, four RBI and a stolen base. Sunday was his second multiple extra-base hit performance of the season and third of his career. He also stroked a pair of doubles on June 10 at Texas.

His seventh-inning theft of third prompted the Diamondbacks to bring in the infield with Stanton at the plate, facilitating his fourth RBI. A sharp grounder through the left side gave Stanton his 15th career four-plus RBI game and third of 2014. The only players in Marlins' history with more: Jeff Conine (22), Miguel Cabrera (20), Mike Lowell (17) and Gary Sheffield (16).

"We've still got to keep pushing," Stanton said. "It's helping us win, so that's more than any single accolade I can have."

Koehler sandwiched a nice outing between 27-pitch first and sixth innings. He avoided the big inning, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out seven to even his record at 9-9.

(c)2014 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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