MIAMI -- Milestones are seemingly coming on a daily basis for Giancarlo Stanton, who connected on his 42nd home run of the season on Sunday, matching Gary Sheffield (1996) for a Marlins record.
Mike Aviles' two-run double and five scoreless innings from the bullpen backed Stanton's heroics as the Marlins swept the Rockies with a 5-3 victory at Marlins Park.
"It's definitely cool for me," Stanton said. "It's not something I will fully appreciate until the year is over, I'd say. But it's a cool thing to have under my belt. I've got time to get more."
Colorado (65-52) and Arizona are tied for the National League Wild Card lead after the D-backs lost to the Cubs. The Rockies never got on track in the series, scoring nine total runs. Odrisamer Despaigne threw a perfect ninth inning for his first Major League save.
"We were pretty light out there today," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of his bullpen. "Bringing in Despaigne was probably our last guy that we were wanting to use today."
The Rockies received a scare in the fifth inning when All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado exited after being struck on the left hand by a Vance Worley pitch. X-rays came back negative with a left hand contusion.
Rockies manager Bud Black said Arenado has a left hand contusion and X-rays were negative. Arenado's initial reaction worried Black, but he said it was good news there were no broken bones.
"In the long run, it's great news. Are you kidding me?" Black said. "A broken hand or broken bones in the hand? Not good."
Stanton has become a must-see attraction, as the slugger has now homered in four straight games, nine of 10 and has belted 21 in 33 games. In August, he has connected nine times in 12 contests.
"Big G is obviously impressive," Mattingly said. "It's been amazing to watch, but it was also good to get production from some guys we don't really count on."
Added Rockies right-hander German Marquez said: "It's really impressive. A guy that takes the ball that way and hits it out of the park is really impressive. I mean, you've got to give him credit. He's hot now, too."
Marquez gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings, taking his first loss since June 26, snapping a string of four straight winning decisions.
"Fastballs up and couldn't really land his curveball," Black said of his starter. "I think the curveball was inconsistent today. Since June or at least a handful of starts, the breaking ball was pretty consistent. But today, it wasn't there."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rally squashed: Down 5-3, the Rockies had a chance to rally in the fifth inning, after a leadoff HBP to Arenado and a ground-rule double by Gerardo Parra. With second and third and no outs, Javy Guerra relieved Worley and picked up the biggest outs of the game. The right-hander struck out Carlos Gonzalez and retired Pat Valaika on a popup to second. After rookie Ryan McMahon walked to load the bases, Ryan Hanigan tapped to second for the third out. Guerra struck out two in a clean sixth inning to collect his first Major League victory since Sept. 8, 2014, while he was with the White Sox against the A's.
"It was a lot of fun today," Guerra said. "It was fun to go out there and pitch and keep the game moving along. Second and third, no outs. Unfortunately, I've been in that situation a lot. I have a lot of experience in there."
Turning the tables: First time around, Aviles went down swinging with two on in the second inning. In the fourth, it was a different story for Miami's second baseman, who got the start because Dee Gordon was given the day off. Aviles delivered a two-run double off Marquez that put the Marlins in front, 5-3.
Aviles and Worley each recorded two-run hits on the day.
"We talk about [Stanton], but today was a good day also for Vance and Mike Aviles," Mattingly said. "Two guys you wouldn't think are going to give you four ribbies."
"Most fun stretch, for sure. We've got a ways to go for past the regular season, but this stretch, for sure." -- Stanton, on his hot streak being the most fun of his career
"The runners in scoring position was tough on this trip, for sure. We just couldn't get the big hit. The Marlins got a couple key hits that got them over the top when the score was close. It didn't happen for us on this trip." -- Black, on his club going 5-for-39 with runners in scoring position on the five-game road trip. Colorado went 1-4.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Stanton has reached 250 home runs in 941 games, making him the sixth-fastest player (in terms of games played) to reach that marker. According to Stats Inc., the other five players to reach the mark since 1913 in fewer games are Ryan Howard (855), Ralph Kiner (871), Harmon Killebrew (905), Jose Pujols (933) and Juan Gonzalez (936).
McMAHON'S FIRST HIT
It may have taken a few at-bats into his first start, but McMahon collected his first Major League hit in the eighth inning. The Rockies' No. 3 prospect and the No. 64 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com bounced a single through the right side off an 0-2 forkball from Junichi Tazawa. The hit was part of a Rockies comeback that quickly fell through when Hanigan grounded into a double play. McMahon finished the day 1-for-3 with a walk.
A run was in the balance when the Marlins challenged a safe call at first base on what initially was ruled an RBI fielder's choice for McMahon. But Miami asked for a review, and the call was overturned, resulting in an inning-ending double play.
The Rockies scored three runs in the third inning, and nearly had a fourth. With runners on first and third, McMahon grounded to first. Tomas Telis went to second for the forceout and Miguel Rojas returned a strong throw to Worley covering the base as McMahon was arriving. It was initially ruled that Worley's foot wasn't on the bag before McMahon's.
Rockies:Chad Bettis will complete his comeback from testicular cancer surgery last November and toe the rubber for the first time this year. The Rockies open a four-game set at home against Julio Teheran (7-10, 5.25 ERA) and the Braves at 6:40 p.m. MT on Monday.
Marlins: The Marlins open a three-game series with the Giants, a team they swept in three games in San Francisco leading into the All-Star break, at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday. The pitching matchup will be a couple of left-handers: Adam Conley (4-5, 5.43 ERA) goes for Miami, with Ty Blach (8-7, 4.15 ERA) throwing for San Francisco.
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