MIAMI -- A Marlins franchise RBI record that stood for nearly 17 seasons has now been passed by not just one, but two All-Star outfielders. Giancarlo Stanton has company with more than 121 runs batted in on the season.Marcell Ozuna drove in three runs and Stanton padded his team lead
MIAMI -- A Marlins franchise RBI record that stood for nearly 17 seasons has now been passed by not just one, but two All-Star outfielders. Giancarlo Stanton has company with more than 121 runs batted in on the season.
Marcell Ozuna drove in three runs and Stanton padded his team lead with an RBI single on Friday in Miami's 6-5 comeback win over the Braves at Marlins Park.
Stanton now has 130 RBIs on the season, and Ozuna is at 122 with two games remaining.
For perspective, Preston Wilson set the Marlins' RBI standard with 121 in 2000.
"These two guys, really we've been talking about it for probably three or four weeks now, are kind of two MVP-caliber seasons," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "G's kind of had the notoriety. People have talked about G for a while now. But O's a guy that comes from a couple years ago back in the Minor Leagues, big first half last year but couldn't keep it all together. And this year he's just kind of continued to grow and put together a full season, so you're really happy that he's kind of put himself in that same light where G is."
Stanton and Ozuna are the first teammates to each have more than 120 RBIs since David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez with the Red Sox and Gary Sheffield and Alex Rodriguez with the Yankees in 2005.
In terms of the bigger picture, the spotlight is on Stanton for his pursuit of 60 home runs. After connecting twice on Thursday, the four-time All-Star is at 59. The attention is mounting to see if he can become the sixth player in MLB history to reach 60.
On Friday, Stanton didn't clear the fences, but he did have a double and an RBI infield single. Now with 59 homers and 130 RBIs, he's a serious candidate for National League MVP honors.
Ozuna is making a more modest MVP case, batting .313 with 36 homers and 122 RBIs.
"Last offseason, I wasn't working as hard as this offseason," Ozuna said. "Everybody saw the second half for me was a struggle. I was working for a good second half. That's the result when you're working hard every day in the offseason. To pass that record means I do good things in baseball. That makes me proud."
The Marlins rallied with four runs in the seventh inning to take the lead Friday, and Stanton and Ozuna were in the middle of it. With one out, Stanton came to the plate with the bases loaded. The drama built to see if home run No. 60 would be a grand slam. Instead, the slugger reached on a slow roller down the third-base line. Ozuna added an RBI single in the inning, and on the play, a potential second run batted in was erased when Tomas Telis was thrown out at the plate by center fielder Lane Adams.
Before his at-bat, Ozuna was pulling for Stanton to hit the grand slam.
"I was telling the guys, why not get 60 and four RBIs right now?" Ozuna said. "They were saying, it was going to be you. When he got the single, I said, 'OK, he's got 130 now.' Good for him. I'm proud of him and me. We've worked together to do good."
Mattingly is clearly pulling for Stanton to not just get to 60, but to add on even more.
"I'd really like it," Mattingly said. "I think seeing him get to the round number at least. But you know, the number was 61 for a long time, and I'd love to see him put a couple up just to see what it looks like. I don't know. It's just a big number. It's been fun. It's kind of incredible to watch that many homers in a season from one guy. It's just different."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.