Marlins try McGehee at cleanup against lefty
MIAMI -- When scheduled to face a lefty starter, look for the Marlins to counter with a right-handed-hitting cleanup batter.
The matchup arose on Monday night, when the Rockies went with lefty Jorge De La Rosa. Miami opted to bat third baseman Casey McGehee fourth, and he delivered with a career-high-tying four RBIs in the club's 10-1 victory.
"Guys did a great job getting on base and having great at-bats, especially in the big inning that we had," McGehee said of the Marlins' five-run fifth. "It was a good start for our team. It was nice to get that first hit out of the way, and all that stuff."
The point is to get as much protection as possible for slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who bats third. Manager Mike Redmond's top of the order was Christian Yelich, Jeff Baker, Stanton and McGehee. Stanton had an RBI infield single with the bases loaded in the fifth before McGehee cleared the bases with a double.
"I wanted to have a right-hander behind Stanton against a lefty," Redmond said. "You put guys in situations and see what they can do. He stepped up tonight and got a big hit, a really big hit. He had a good night, a real good night."
Garrett Jones, a left-handed-hitting first baseman, is expected to bat fourth against right-handers.
"Casey seems like a natural fit," Redmond said. "He's got some experience. He's been through the battles. But we'll see.
"The key is to try to get Giancarlo as many good pitches to hit as he can."
McGehee, back in the big leagues after spending 2013 in Japan, has 112 at-bats in his MLB career from the No. 4 spot. He also has plenty of experience batting behind some feared power hitters. In Milwaukee, he frequently followed Prince Fielder.
"I liken it to hitting behind Prince in Milwaukee," McGehee said. "I no longer get my feelings hurt when they pitch around them. I get it. It's the same thing I feel with Stanton. I understand why they would want to pitch around him at times.
"When I was in Milwaukee, I took a lot of pride in giving a good at-bat. If I'm there just for tonight, or in other situations, I'm looking to make sure I have a good at-bat. At least make the guy have to work."