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Stanton homers as Marlins complete sweep

July 10, 2016

MIAMI -- The Marlins will head into the All-Star break on a mini-roll, while the Reds are likely grateful for the chance to get away and regroup.A 7-3 victory at Marlins Park on Sunday afternoon gave Miami a three-game series sweep to conclude the first half. It was the Marlins'

MIAMI -- The Marlins will head into the All-Star break on a mini-roll, while the Reds are likely grateful for the chance to get away and regroup.
A 7-3 victory at Marlins Park on Sunday afternoon gave Miami a three-game series sweep to conclude the first half. It was the Marlins' first series sweep of the Reds since 2003, and their first sweep of them at home since 1996. It wasn't a pretty win, but Miami had timely hitting and capitalized on Cincinnati's mistakes.
With the win, the Marlins are now 47-41, the second-best record entering the All-Star break in franchise history. They were 50-36 at the break in 1997, the same year they won their first World Series.
"I'm happy," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I'll just make sure our guys don't think we're satisfied. We're in a good spot. We're still six back. That's the way we look at it. We just gotta keep going."
Ozuna makes All-Star throw to save run
Cincinnati had a 3-2 lead in the fifth for rookie Cody Reed when Giancarlo Stanton crushed a two-run homer to left field. In a three-run sixth, J.T. Realmuto hit a RBI single and beat a pitchout to steal second, then also swiped third. Christian Yelich's RBI single and Billy Hamilton's errant throw to third base on the play added two runs.

Tom Koehler started for the Marlins, but he left after four innings, allowing three runs and seven hits, while lefty Mike Dunn pitched a scoreless fifth for the win. Reed was lifted after 4 2/3 innings, finishing with four runs (three earned) allowed, two walks and seven strikeouts. One of the two runs he allowed in the second inning came on a passed ball that scored Adeiny Hechavarria.
"I felt a little better today," said Reed, who is 0-4 with an 8.39 ERA in five big league starts. "I just made one bad pitch to Stanton. The guy gets paid ... to hit home runs. He does that from time to time. I made a couple mistakes and they took advantage."
Day-early derby: 
Stanton gave fans an early glimpse of what's to come in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday, as he blasted his 20th home run of the season with two outs in the fifth inning to give the Marlins a 4-3 lead, which they wouldn't relinquish. Stanton is now one of nine National League players with 20 or more dingers. He also hit the 20-homer mark before the All-Star break for a third straight season.
"There's been good strides," Stanton said of his first half. "Can't look at all the negatives. Gotta bring the positives out, too. I had a good last week."
Doing it all: Hechavarria made his mark in the first two innings. He flashed the leather at shortstop by robbing Hamilton of a hit and possibly extra bases on a diving play to his right in the first inning. In the second, Hechavarria drove in Miguel Rojas with an RBI single to tie the game at 1. Then he scored all the way from second on a passed ball, marking the first time any player in franchise history has done so. Hamilton had accomplished the feat on Tuesday against the Cubs.
"It was a nice run to get, that's for sure," Mattingly said of Hechavarria's run. "You don't usually get them like that. It was just one of those plays that the ball bounced just right for us."

What fractured hand? Since he fractured his left hand on Friday night, Brandon Phillips has three hits and three RBIs. His two-run double in the fourth inning against Koehler gave Cincinnati a 3-2 lead. The Reds had five hits in the inning, but they were unable to add on, as Phillips was later thrown out try to score on Tucker Barnhart's single to Marcell Ozuna in center field.

Reds' defenses lapses: In the sixth against reliever Josh Smith, Rojas hit grounder between first and second base that Reds first baseman Joey Votto initially moved to field. Second baseman Phillips fielded it cleanly, but Votto was late to cover the bag for the throw. Rojas was initially ruled out, but the call was overturned, opening a rally. Later in the inning, Phillips was late to cover the bag on the pitchout for Realmuto, and then there was Hamilton's bad throw.
"We were awful today defensively," Reds manager Bryan Price said. More >

The Marlins ended the first half with five qualifying batters hitting .300 or better, marking the fifth time any team has done so over the past 40 years. The 1999 Pirates were the last team to accomplish this feat.
Mattingly and the Marlins won two replay challenges in the win. Yelich was originally ruled out on a ground ball in the third to Votto, who flipped to Reed at first. The call was overturned after a 45-second review. In the sixth, Miami successfully challenged a similar play. Rojas chopped a grounder to Phillips to lead off. Votto, who had started toward the ball, was late getting back to first in the bang-bang play. Rojas was ruled out, but the call was overturned after a 43-second review.

Reds: After the All-Star break, Anthony DeSclafani (3-0, 2.23 ERA) will get the ball to open the second half for the Reds vs. the Brewers. The three-game series begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday at Great American Ball Park.
Marlins: The Marlins open the second half against the Cardinals on Friday at 8:15 p.m. ET at Busch Stadium. St. Louis is 19-26 at home this year. No starting pitchers for either team have been announced yet.
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Patrick Pinak is a reporter for based in Miami.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.