Stanton continues torrid run with 40th homer

August 12th, 2017

MIAMI -- At the pace he is going, Marlins right fielder isn't looking to just set a Marlins single-season home run mark. The slugger is on pace to obliterate it.

In the sixth inning of Friday night's 6-3 win over the Rockies at Marlins Park, Stanton connected on his 40th home run of the season against right-hander , moving within two of Gary Sheffield's franchise record of 42, set in 1996.

Stanton is just the second player in club history to reach the 40 mark, and the four-time All-Star increased his Major League lead to five over of the Yankees.

"It's definitely pretty cool," Stanton said of reaching the milestone. "I've got a ways to go, though. But I'm glad I could get to that finally and help us win. [It] worked out."

The homer was also Stanton's 99th at Marlins Park, which opened in 2012.

Per Statcast™, Stanton's home run projected at 433 feet, with an exit velocity of 111.2 mph. The no-doubter to left came off Gray's 89.4-mph slider.

"He's swinging the bat good," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He just continues to have good at-bats. If he's making contact, he's got a good shot at continuing to hit balls in the seats the way he's swinging the bat."

Stanton now has 19 home runs in his last 31 games. The last players with 40 homers in their team's first 114 games: Stanton (2017), Chris Davis ('13), David Ortiz ('06), Barry Bonds ('01), Luis Gonzalez ('01) and Sammy Sosa ('01).

"I'm excited," Marlins left fielder said. "He's the big guy on the team. He's having good success, good approach at the plate. If it hits the barrel, it's gone."

Mattingly said the key for Stanton is health. In previous years, he has missed time due to injuries, which has derailed his bids to break Sheffield's record.

"This year, he's been able to stay on the field," Mattingly said. "Hopefully that continues and we really see a full year out of 'G' that really shows why people look at him as one of the most-feared guys in the game."

In 2014, Stanton hit 37 and became the first Marlins player to lead the National League in home runs. But his season ended on Sept. 11 after he was hit in the face by a pitch. Stanton knocked 27 home runs in 74 games in 2015, when he missed substantial time due to a fractured left hamate bone.

Sheffield put together his record-setting season in 1996, when the Marlins played at their original park, Joe Robbie Stadium, now Hard Rock Stadium, which is still the home of the NFL's Miami Dolphins.

Stanton is the Marlins' all-time home run leader, with 248.

"This franchise has been around for a while," Mattingly said, "and hitting 40 homers is not an easy task. This is not exactly a home run-hitting ballpark. I think it speaks to his talent."