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Stanton leaves no doubt in Miami's walkoff win

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Marlins Park has been notorious for keeping hard-hit balls inside the fence.

   But Giancarlo Stanton left no doubts about where his smash would end up.

   Stanton hit a walk-off grand slam to left-center field to give the Miami Marlins an 8-4 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday.

   "That was one of those no-doubters right off the bat," Stanton said of his third career grand slam. "It was good I could sit and watch it."

   And Stanton did just that. After Manny Acosta issued the first-pitch fastball and Stanton connected, the slugger stood and watched the ball land just to the left of the home run sculpture as the crowd of 26,401 erupted.

   "It's a weird feeling," Stanton said. "It's more of a silence type and all you see is the ball flying. Then once you start going (around the bases) you start to hear that big roar of everybody and the excitement."

   The Marlins have won 10 of 12 including two of three in the series with the Mets. It was the second walk-off win for the Marlins in the series as Greg Dobbs delivered a walk-off single on Friday.

   "After the comeback a couple days ago they might have said, 'we can come back again' and they did it," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It is very exciting."

   The Marlins trailed 4-2 going into the bottom of the ninth after Justin Turner hit a two-run double off Heath Bell (2-3) in the top of the inning.

   In the bottom of the ninth with Mets closer Frank Francisco (1-3) on the mound, Emilio Bonifacio hit his second triple of the game. After John Buck walked, Dobbs drove in Bonifacio with a base hit cutting the deficit to 4-3.

   Following the hit by Dobbs, Mets manager Terry Collins came to the mound to replace Francisco, who then walked to home plate and confronted umpire Todd Tichenor and had to be restrained by Collins. Francisco was particularly upset with the calls in the Buck five-pitch at-bat.

   "They were all strikes," Francisco said.

   Buck disagreed: "The first one is what started it. I'm 6-4 and that was pretty low personally. The next one was borderline, but after that they were all (balls). Trust me I was hacking with Bonnie at third and we all know that I love to swing."

   Acosta replaced Francisco and Jose Reyes hit a sacrifice fly to center for a 4-4 tie. With two outs, Acosta walked Hanley Ramirez and hit Austin Kearns with a pitch to load the bases for Stanton.

   "We weren't expecting it to end this way, but sometimes it's hard to swallow," Acosta said.

   Mets starter Jonathon Niese pitched six scoreless innings and allowed five hits -- all singles -- and three walks while striking out four. He lowered his ERA from 4.01 to 3.40. Niese came into Sunday's game with a 1-4 record and 5.13 ERA in seven starts against the Marlins.

   Kirk Nieuwenhuis and David Wright opened the fourth with back-to-back singles. After both runners moved up on a passed ball by Buck, Lucas Duda grounded out to score Nieuwenhuis and Murphy singled home Wright for a 2-0 lead.

   Miami had a baserunner in each of the first six innings, but didn't score until the sixth when Bonifacio tripled off Ramon Ramirez to right-center field and Buck followed with a home run to center to tie the game at 2-2.

   In a 115-pitch effort, Miami's Carlos Zambrano allowed two runs -- one earned -- and five hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked three.

   "It was the same thing that has been working all year long -- sinker, split-finger, first-pitch strikes, and be able to be ahead in the count," Zambrano said.

   Bonifacio went 3-for-4 to record his first three-hit game since April 9 at Philadelphia.

   NOTES: Zambrano has posted his two highest strikeout totals of the season in his last two starts. He struck out a season-high nine on May 7 at Houston. ... Reyes reached base eight times (six hits and two walks) in 14 plate appearances in the series. ... Murphy extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single in the fourth. He is hitting .447 (17 for 38) during the streak. .. The walk-off home run was the second in the career for Stanton, who also hit one on July 6, 2011, against Philadelphia.

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