Stanton's homer propels Marlins past Brewers

Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton was angry.
The Miami Marlins star grounded out in his first three at-bats Tuesday, twice to shortstop and once to the pitcher. And, in right field, he failed to cut off what became a triple down the line by Yuniesky Betancourt, allowing the Milwaukee Brewers to take the lead.
However, Stanton corrected all his perceived sins with one swing, belting a two-run, eighth-inning home run that helped Miami rally to a 5-4 win over Milwaukee on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.
It was Stanton's first homer since he came off the disabled list Monday.
"It was a really good feeling, especially under the circumstances, having crummy at-bats and then letting the go-ahead run go (by me)," Stanton said.
Marlins reliever Steve Cishek worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to secure his seventh save of the season. Chad Qualls (2-0) pitched a perfect eighth.
Miami (19-45) continues to sport the worst record in the major leagues, but the return of Stanton and Logan Morrison (two doubles Tuesday) off the DL this week has given Marlins fans some hope.
The Brewers (26-38) conclude the three-game series at Marlins Park on Wednesday.
Stanton hit his homer 397 feet to left-center field on the first pitch he saw from reliever Jim Henderson (2-2). There were two outs, and Juan Pierre was on first after reaching on an infield single.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Henderson threw Stanton a slider.
"It was not that bad of a pitch, but it was in the zone," Roenicke said. "If you throw him a slider, you have to throw it out of the zone. He's a good breaking-ball hitter.
"Henderson threw the ball fine. He got a ground ball from Pierre, and he beats it out. Then the slider isn't that bad. But to that guy (Stanton) -- he can go down and get it."
Stanton said he was aware of how the Brewers were attacking him all game long with pitches out of the zone.
"I was pulling off everything," he said. "I thought they were going to have the same plan. I told myself: 'Whatever they do, just keep your shoulders down, stay back and don't come in the zone and out, which results in those end-of-the-bat, 15-hop ground balls.
"That is another reason I was so upset earlier in the game. I felt I was letting the team down. You have to stay composed throughout the whole game. Don't give up. If you do something wrong three times or four times, you may get another chance. Tonight, I did."
Marlins starter Jacob Turner pitched reasonably well, lasting seven innings and allowing four runs (three earned).
Turner was on the mound when the Brewers took a 4-3 lead with a two-run rally in the seventh. Rickie Weeks drew a one-out walk and scored on Betancourt's triple to right past a sliding Stanton. It was the Brewers' major-league-leading 26th triple of the season.
Betancourt then scored on pinch hitter Scooter Gennett's suicide-squeeze bunt.
With Brewers starter Wily Peralta out of the game after allowing three runs in six innings, the Marlins tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh. Morrison greeted reliever Mike Gonzalez with a double, but Gonzalez got a big strikeout of Derek Dietrich.
The Brewers went to the bullpen again, and John Axford responded well, getting Adeiny Hechavarria to ground out and then striking out backup catcher Jeff Mathis on a 3-2 pitch that was a close call.
The Marlins got on the board first, scoring three times in the second inning.
Rookie Marcell Ozuna, who hit a leadoff single, scored on Morrison's double to center. The Marlins made it 3-0 on rookie Dietrich's two-run homer to right. Dietrich hit a 1-0 fastball 408 feet for his sixth homer of the season.
"Morale-wise, to have 'LoMo' and Stanton back gives us a big lift," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "LoMo was behind me when Stanton hit his homer, and he gave me about three rib shots, so I might need an ice pack."
The Brewers got a run back in the fourth -- and they did it on the cheap. Carlos Gomez struck out but reached first on a wild pitch. He was balked to second and got to third on a throwing error by Turner. Gomez then scored on Jonathan Lucroy's sacrifice fly to center.
NOTES: Brewers LF Ryan Braun missed his second straight game due to a right thumb injury. ... Marlins rookie Ed Lucas got the start at third in place of veteran Placido Polanco, who is out with a back injury. ... The Marlins are just the third team since 1920 to win a 20-plus-inning game and a 10-plus-inning game on successive days. The 1982 Angels and the 1989 Astros are the other two teams to achieve the feat. ... Brewers relievers entered the night with a combined 2.11 ERA over the past 34 games, a span of 127 2/3 innings. That lowered the bullpen ERA from 4.16 to 2.95, fourth best in the NL. ... Attendance at Marlins Park was 13,110. ... Colin Moran, the Marlins' first-round pick last week, hit a run-scoring triple Tuesday to lead No. 1 seed North Carolina to a 5-4 victory over South Carolina, sending the Tar Heels to the College World Series.

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