MIAMI -- Two of the Marlins' most feared hitters are heating up during the homestand. Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton each connected on impressive home runs on Tuesday night, powering Miami to a 7-2 win over the Phillies at Marlins Park.
On a day when it was revealed they rank seventh and eighth, respectively, in the Esurance All-Star ballot among National League outfielders, Ozuna (13 homers) and Stanton (14) furthered their cases.
"I've been happy with the approach," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We talked about it last series with our guys. I thought it's been the best since I've been here, and it's continuing. We're starting to put things together, but we're starting to sustain."
Stanton has three home runs in the first five games of the homestand, while Ozuna has two. The Marlins have won three straight for the first time since April 14-16, and they improved to 4-1 on the homestand.
Ozuna went 3-for-5, and the 26-year-old slugger gave a reason for his success: He used one of Ichiro Suzuki's bats and may consider using it again on Wednesday.
"After practice, I asked, 'Hey, can I use one of your bats?' He was like, 'For what? For signing?' I said, 'No, to use tonight,'" Ozuna said. "He said, 'You have to use it in practice first.' I said, 'I'm going to use it right in the game.'"
For the Phillies, Howie Kendrick belted his first long ball of the year.
The game was a rough one for both starting pitchers, as they were replaced early due to injuries.
Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez made an abrupt exit after 1 1/3 innings with a right elbow flexor strain, and Miami lefty Justin Nicolino bruised his left index finger while bunting in the third.
Velasquez recorded four outs before being replaced. His fastball velocity dipped from 95 mph in the first to 90.9 mph on his final pitch. Of his 19 pitches, 16 were fastballs and three were changeups. Ozuna homered off Velasquez to open the second, and Justin Bour doubled.
"It's frustrating," Velasquez said. "Things happen, one pitch happens. That's how baseball is. It is what it is, and I've got to do what I've got to do to get back in the game and help this team out."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Stanton sizzling in two-spot: Since moving up in the order on May 23 at Oakland, Stanton is 12-for-29 (.414) with three home runs and seven RBIs. Stanton helped break the game open in Miami's five-run third inning with a two-run, opposite-field homer off Mark Leiter. It was projected by Statcast™ to have traveled 388 feet with an exit velocity of 107 mph and a launch angle of 21 degrees.
"We're swinging the bats good with him in the two-hole, but he has been really good," Mattingly said. "Sometimes being in a different spot in the order changes things. He wasn't swinging the bat badly in the other spots, [but] we weren't scoring as a team."
McGowan lends helping hand: On short notice, Dustin McGowan found himself entering the game for the Marlins in the fourth inning. The right-hander was called in because of Nicolino's injury, and he ended up going three innings, allowing one run. The outing didn't start off too well for McGowan, who surrendered a leadoff homer to Kendrick. Aaron Altherr followed with a single, but Tommy Joseph bounced into a double play, and McGowan was able to get through two more innings
"As bad is it was to have your pitcher come out in the second, we still had a chance," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "We loaded the bases with nobody out but just got the one run in. It could have been a great chance to come back."
"It got the meat part, the bottom part of my finger. Luckily, there was no damage. It feels fine." -- Nicolino, on his bruised finger, which was X-rayed and showed no fractures
Phillies:Aaron Nola takes the mound for the Phils as they wrap up the series in a 1:10 p.m. ET finale on Wednesday at Marlins Park. The right-hander looks to shake off a two-game skid that includes his last outing, his worst of the season (6 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 HR).
Marlins:Dan Straily, Miami's most effective starter all season, gets the call for Wednesday's series finale. The right-hander is 3-3 with a 3.83 ERA, and he is 1-0 in his career against Philadelphia.
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