SAN FRANCISCO -- Too many times to count, A.J. Ellis, who spent eight years with Los Angeles, stepped into AT&T Park in Dodger Blue.Now with Miami, Ellis once again played spoiler in a potential Giants win. He blasted a two-run home run in the 11th inning Sunday to break a
SAN FRANCISCO -- Too many times to count, A.J. Ellis, who spent eight years with Los Angeles, stepped into AT&T Park in Dodger Blue.
Now with Miami, Ellis once again played spoiler in a potential Giants win. He blasted a two-run home run in the 11th inning Sunday to break a tie and seal a 10-8 win. In turn, Miami picked up its first road sweep of the season.
"I've often said this is my favorite ballpark to play in, in all of baseball," Ellis said. "I love coming up here and I love the fans here. They're into the game. I've always had a ton of fun playing here in the Bay Area. It felt good to go up there and drive in a run."
Ellis did a bit more than just drive in a run. The blast -- his first of the season -- was also his first as a pinch-hitter. Ellis joked that backup catchers don't get many opportunities to pinch-hit, but he was happy to contribute in a meaningful way.
Two batters later, Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton homered for the second time in the game. Ellis' shot didn't quite match the beauty of Stanton's blast.
"I was able to squeeze one out and G was able to show me how to really hit one," Ellis said with a laugh.
Ellis' opportunity developed after Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford committed a rare error on a normally routine grounder, putting Miami's primary catcher, J.T. Realmuto, on base.
From his time in the National League West, Ellis knows Crawford's glove is one of the steadiest in baseball.
"I've been on the other side of that rivalry a lot," Ellis said. "When the ball is hit on the left side on the ground, you're usually walking back to the dugout."
Nevertheless, the onus fell on Ellis to bring his teammate home -- and dismiss much of Miami's roster for a much-needed four-day break.
Ellis was happy to oblige.
"You're just trying to put a ball in play and get it to the outfield," Ellis said. "That probably helped me more than anything, shorten things up and find the ball in the outfield."
Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Marlins on Sunday.