Stanton homers twice to lead Marlins past Diamondbacks

Associated Press
8/21/2012 1:43:46 AM
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PHOENIX -- Giancarlo Stanton doesn't look like someone who spent a month on the disabled list after knee surgery.

Stanton continued his offensive surge with two homers, including the first of back-to-back home runs during Miami's nine-run fourth inning, and the Marlins routed the Arizona Diamondbacks 12-3 on Monday night.

"My body is letting me," said Stanton, who hit a towering 442-foot home run into the second deck in the fourth three days after hitting a 494-foot blast in Colorado. "I thought I would need a little more days off but it has responded well."

Since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 7 following surgery to remove loose bodies from his right knee, Stanton is 13 for 43 with four doubles, five homers and 11 RBIs. His 26 home runs are rank him third in the National League.

"This guy is so good, so talented," said Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen. "He has missed half a year and he still has 20-something home runs. That is how talented he is."

Justin Ruggiano homered after Stanton, and Jose Reyes had four hits -- including three doubles -- scored twice and drove in a run. John Buck homered among his three hits and Donnie Murphy added an RBI triple for the Marlins, who have won three of their last four.

Miami's 10 hits in the fourth matched a franchise record set last September 9 at Pittsburgh, and the 12 runs and 20 hits were season highs.

"Finally we got to see some guys having fun in the dugout, a little smile and enjoying the game," Guillen said. "I like when I see those guys excited, happy, smiling and having some fun in the dugout. We have had so many long faces all year long. Watching those guys just for a day enjoying this game, I wish we could do it a little more often."

Marlins starter Mark Buehrle (11-11) was the beneficiary of the offence while allowing two runs on six hits over seven innings for his second straight win. He struck out four without a walk.

"Don't talk to me. See the guys who did all the work today," Buehrle said. "When you get a lead like that you obviously don't want to go out there and pump heaters. You still have to pitch and get guys out."

Joe Saunders (6-10) took the loss, giving up a career-worst nine runs on 12 hits with two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out two as his ERA soared from 3.70 to 4.22.

"Joe just didn't throw the ball very good," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson. "It happened quickly. With all the games we have coming up we were kinda forced to try and stick with him and save the bullpen but it didn't work out that way."

The Diamondbacks had their four-game winning streak snapped. After the game, the Diamondbacks announced long-time shortstop Stephen Drew was traded to the Oakland Athletics for a minor-league infielder.

Jason Kubel homered in the first to give Arizona a 1-0 lead, but the Marlins quickly took control.

Donovan Solano singled to centre and Reyes hit a broken-bat blooper just onto the grass behind the infield cutout. Lee followed with a broken-bat popup that landed harmlessly on the infield dirt between first and second as Aaron Hill was wrong-footed breaking to cover second on the hit-and-run, scoring Solano.

The bloop hits ended there.

Stanton drove a pitch into the second deck, just short of the restaurant above the left-field fence, to give Miami a 4-1 lead. Ruggiano then homered into the camera well in the batters' eye above centre field to make it 5-1.

Both home runs, coming on the heels of three singles that travelled less than 350 feet combined, were estimated at 442 feet.

"That's all you can do in this game -- make pitches -- and whatever happens, happens," Saunders said.

Buck singled before Saunders earned a sarcastic cheer from the crowd by retiring Murphy on a fly ball to centre, and Buerhle popped a bunt into Saunders glove five feet in front of the mound.

But Emilio Bonifacio easily beat out a grounder to third, Solano singled for the second time in the inning to bring home Buck, Reyes doubled and Lee singled to complete the Marlins' outburst.

"I walked up here (in the clubhouse) and sat on the couch and got razzed by J.J. (Josh Johnson) and Ricky (Nolasco) about getting so many runs and what I do to the team to get so many runs scored when I am pitching. I had to just move around. I can't just sit there on the bench."

Chris Johnson snapped a 0-for-18 skid, singling in Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth for Arizona.

Murphy tripled home Buck in the fifth for Miami, and Stanton and Buck homered in the seventh against Arizona reliever Brad Bergesen.

Kubel added an RBI groundout in the eighth off Chris Hatcher.

NOTES: Stanton has six career two-homer games, including two this season. ... Saunders, who allowed nine runs -- six earned -- on August 25, 2010, gave up 12 hits for the third time in his career. He failed to get out of the fourth for the second time this season. ... The Marlins' biggest-ever inning also came against Arizona, a 10-run effort on July 9, 2009. ... The Marlins are the second club to record six straight hits in an inning against the Diamondbacks this season. ... Gibson said Willie Bloomquist is expected to return to the lineup on Friday. . Nolasco takes the mound for the Marlins on Tuesday against RHP Trevor Cahill in a matchup of pitchers looking for their 10th win of the season. Nolasco pitched a complete-game loss against Colorado on Thursday, his only complete game of the season. Cahill, 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in his last two starts at Chase Field, also will be going for his 50th career win.

Giancarlo Stanton (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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