PHILADELPHIA -- Having already made a spectacular home run robbery in the fifth inning to go with his three-run homer in the second, Christian Yelich was waiting for Giancarlo Stanton, who has been on a torrid pace at the plate, to pick up his end of the bargain in right
PHILADELPHIA -- Having already made a spectacular home run robbery in the fifth inning to go with his three-run homer in the second, Christian Yelich was waiting for Giancarlo Stanton, who has been on a torrid pace at the plate, to pick up his end of the bargain in right field.
Stanton did. In the seventh inning of Tuesday's 7-4 Marlins win over the Phillies in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park, Stanton saw a liner off the bat of Cameron Perkins roaring toward the right-center-field gap. He put on the afterburners before diving and making an impressive play for the second out.
"About time you did something today," Yelich said to Stanton through a smile and a shared laugh.
When Yelich gets the rare opportunity to take a jab at his slugging teammate, he takes it.
"It's fun giving him a hard time. He's been great for us on both sides of the ball hitting homers making good plays. Any chance I get to give him a hard time, I don't miss it," Yelich said. "Had to get one in there."
To go with his impressive defensive play, Stanton's latest homer, in Miami's Game 1 win, set a new Marlins franchise record for most home runs in a month. It was his 13th in August and his Major League-leading 46th of the season.
Yelich is in his first full-time season as a center fielder, and he continues to make strides. He crushed a second-inning fastball from Phillies starter Nick Pivetta for his 13th homer of the year to plate three runs that turned out to be the game's deciding tallies, helping return Miami to a .500 record. The Marlins are 5 1/2 games out of the second National League Wild Card spot with the two wins on Tuesday.
The 13 home runs that left Citizens Bank Park between the two games of Tuesday's doubleheader easily could have been 14 if it wasn't for Yelich. In the fifth inning, he ranged to the warning track in deep center and leaped to steal a homer from Phillies center fielder Nick Williams, who went deep an inning earlier. Yelich had never robbed a homer before, but he has been on the receiving end.
"I've been robbed a few times, so I know that feeling on the other end," Yelich said. "It [stinks]. Terrible feeling. It's cool to rob one. [It] keeps a run off the board, and it helped us out right there.
"The ball was carrying pretty good today here, so I saw it off the bat and knew I had to get back there and kind of see if you're going to have a chance at it or not. Got back there in time and was able to jump, and it almost popped out."
Yelich somehow squeezed the ball on the heel of his glove and held on.
"Right in the palm, somehow," he said. "I was able to pinch it and hold on down to the ground."
Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia who covered the Marlins on Tuesday.