Stanton finds groove, but offense sings Motown blues

Slugger homers, has 3 hits, but Miami misses several key chances on 16-hit night

June 29th, 2016

DETROIT -- The laser shot to center was the latest example of Giancarlo Stanton's raw power, and the two singles were additional signs that the Marlins' slugger is regaining his form at the plate.

Stanton gave the Marlins a big boost early, homering and knocking in three runs, but the Tigers were able to respond in the fifth inning and rally to a 7-5 win on Tuesday at Comerica Park.

Before the Tigers flexed their own might with three homers in a seven-run fifth, Stanton gave Miami a two-run lead with his home run to center in the second inning. And in the fifth, he ripped a single past second baseman Ian Kinsler, who was playing in with Christian Yelich on third.

"It's nice to see him get going again," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's been swinging better for a while now. It seems like the way he was swinging earlier in the year is behind us."

Stanton's homer was his 15th of the season, and it was another mammoth blast. According to Statcast™, the ball landed a projected 442 feet away and was left the bat with an exit velocity of 115 mph. The fact that the launch angle was 17 degrees made it appear like it was hit with a golf driver instead of a baseball bat.

Stanton has been tracking better for a few weeks now. He's not going to reverse his tough start immediately, but gradually the numbers are improving. His slash line is now .228/.324/.460, but since June 8, Stanton has made strides at the plate. In his last 17 games, he's at .313/.362/.516, with three home runs, four doubles and 12 RBIs.

Stanton's RBI single was shaping up as a big hit because it came with Yelich on third and after Marcell Ozuna lifted a soft popup to short.

The Marlins did rally to make it 7-5 in the eighth inning on Martin Prado's sacrifice fly, but they stranded 12 on the night and were just 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

In the second inning, after Stanton's homer, the Marlins had a chance to do more damage off Mike Pelfrey, who allowed three straight singles. But with no outs and the bases full, Miami couldn't tack on any more runs.

At the time, Miami lefty Adam Conley was breezing before he was hit hard in the fifth.

"That second, third and fourth, it seemed like the innings where Adam was on a roll and we had guys all over the place," Mattingly said. "We just weren't able to capitalize in those innings.

"That kind of changes momentum, but we still have guys out there and have chances all over the place. But really all night long, we kept swinging the bats, but we just didn't get them in. But that's the way it ends up tonight."