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Stanton's two homers propel Fish past Braves

September 28, 2017

MIAMI -- After being in a mild home run dry spell, Giancarlo Stanton is now knocking on the door for 60 home runs.Stanton smacked two home runs on Thursday, increasing his MLB-leading total to 59 in the Marlins' 7-1 win over the Braves at Marlins Park."He doesn't seem that emotional

MIAMI -- After being in a mild home run dry spell, Giancarlo Stanton is now knocking on the door for 60 home runs.
Stanton smacked two home runs on Thursday, increasing his MLB-leading total to 59 in the Marlins' 7-1 win over the Braves at Marlins Park.
"He doesn't seem that emotional about it," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of the quest for 60. "I'm sure he is on the inside. When you see home runs like tonight, it's kind of fun. His go further than most guys hit them. As soon as they're hit, there's really no doubt about most of his."

That's an understatement, especially regarding the second one. Statcast™ projected it at 467 feet and 118.7 mph off Rex Brothers in the eighth inning.
"It's impossible not to think about, but the more you think about it, the harder it's going to be from my perspective," Stanton said. "So take the rest of the at-bats and simplify them and if it happens, it happens. If not, then it's not a failure. I think I'll survive."
The four-time All-Star hadn't gone deep since last Saturday at Arizona, a span of 21 plate appearances and 18 at-bats, before he connected off Julio Teheran on a solo shot with one out in the fourth inning. That blast was a towering drive to left.

"I don't think I've ever thrown a curveball with the first pitch ever to him," Teheran said. "I never thought he was going to hit it like that. If I knew it, believe me, I wouldn't have thrown it. He's got a pretty good swing, and there's nothing I can do. He's really good at hitting mistakes."
It was Stanton's 10th multi-homer game of the season, and the 20th of his career.
Teheran needed 37 pitches before recording his first out of Miami's four-run third inning, and then he fell victim to Stanton's power in the fourth. But the Braves right-hander concluded his oft-frustrating season by retiring seven of the final eight batters he faced.

"I think it was just one inning where I had a couple walks and gave up a couple infield [singles]," Teheran said. "The good thing was I was able to throw my six innings and come back to throw more strikes. As a starting pitcher, that's how you want to be, especially in the last outing of the season."
The win improved the Marlins' record to 75-84, and it guaranteed them at least a tie for second place in the National League East. The Braves would have to sweep the final three games of the series to tie Miami.
Lane Adams homered for Atlanta in the seventh inning.

Marlins rookie Dillon Peters worked 5 2/3 shutout innings, and he collected his first big league win.
"It means a lot to me," Peters said. "I was really, really happy to be up here and get the opportunity. I found out in Spring Training that I could compete at this level. I've been grinding ever since to get back out there, and get to this level. Obviously, a win is an incredible experience, especially your first one."

There was more historical significance to Stanton's latest home runs. He now has 47 while hitting second, which passes Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews, who had 46 with the Milwaukee Braves in 1959 for the most from that spot in the order.
Road to 60: When pursuing a major milestone, any home run is meaningful. But to Stanton, they are more rewarding when they contribute to a win. The two homers for Stanton gave Miami some breathing room. He also finished with three RBIs, increasing his franchise-record total to 129.

"That's huge," Stanton said of getting locked in for the final few games. "That's a huge mental progression, too. You know you're not going past three more days. You've got to stay locked in. There's no easy hits. There's no layups here, so just keep it locked in and make sure the rest of the guys are, too."
Gordon pursuing his own milestone: Stanton's pursuit of 60 home runs isn't the only milestone a Marlin is chasing. Dee Gordon is closing in on 200 hits. In the third inning, the speedster led off with a triple, his 196th hit of the season. Gordon scored on a wild pitch, and he set in motion a four-run inning. Justin Bour had a two-run single and Derek Dietrich added a sacrifice fly as the Marlins grabbed the early lead.

"The funniest thing that happened is three guys, who all have over 15 home runs this year, each hit an infield single that went 35 feet, combined, which is crazy," Gordon said about Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto, who each tapped infield singles on a big offensive night.

"Giancarlo went deep again, twice. I'm sure you guys all know that. MLB has probably Tweeted it and Instagrammed it. Just beating a broken record right now by saying it, but it happened." -- Gordon, deadpanning the fact Stanton had another big game
"He was on those breaking balls. He's a different hitter now. He's made adjustments and matured. You've got to make pitches, because he can hit them a long way when you don't." -- Braves manager Brian Snitker, on Stanton
Snitker's status with 2018 Braves uncertain
When Ichiro ripped a pinch-hit single in the sixth inning, he became just the sixth player in Major League history to record 50 or more hits at age 43 or older. His 27 pinch hits this season are one shy of the MLB record, set by John Vander Wal in 1995.

Stanton hit .182/.316/.335 and tallied seven homers 244 plate appearances against Atlanta from 2013-16. He has hit .290/.362/.726 and has totaled eight homers in 69 plate appearances against the Braves this year.
Braves:Luiz Gohara (1-3, 4.63 ERA) will attempt to finish his first Major League season on a positive note when the series resumes Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park. Gohara has completed at least six innings in each of his three starts following his Sept. 6 Major League debut.
Marlins:Dan Straily (10-9, 4.08 ERA) makes his final outing of the season on Friday. The right-hander, taking the mound for his 33rd start, is 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA in four starts against Atlanta this season.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001.