SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – With two more home runs to pad his already impressive total in the first half, Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton sure looks ready to make a strong defense of his Home Run Derby title during the All-Star break.
A sweep of the San Francisco Giants to complete their long road trip also has the Marlins feeling optimistic about their own situation.
Stanton homered twice, the second coming after A.J. Ellis’ tiebreaking two-run shot in the 11th inning, and Miami held on to beat San Francisco 10-8 on Sunday to complete the three-game sweep.
“If we want to stick together, if we want to have a chance to not have a wasted year, this is huge,” Stanton said. “We have to jump in the second half the same way and see what happens.”
Miami blew a 7-4 lead when the Giants scored three runs off Kyle Barraclough in the eighth before Ellis and Stanton lifted the Marlins in extra innings.
J.T. Realmuto reached on shortstop Brandon Crawford’s throwing error leading off the 11th. After JT Riddle flew out, Ellis hit a tiebreaking two-run home run. It was Ellis’ first career pinch-hit home run.
Stanton, who homered in the fifth off starter Johnny Cueto, then tacked on No. 26 against George Kontos (0-3). The Marlins’ All-Star slugger scored four times, walked twice and was hit by a pitch.
Afterward, while many of his teammates were headed in different directions to enjoy time off during the break, Stanton packed for Miami where he’ll take part in Monday’s Home Run Derby.
“Gonna get in at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. but as ready as you can be,” Stanton said.
Christian Yelich added two doubles and scored twice, Justin Bour had two hits and two RBIs while Miguel Ozuna doubled in a run to tie a franchise record for most RBIs on a road trip as the Marlins head into the break having won five of six.
Nick Wittgren (2-1) retired six batters for the win and A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth for his 17th save.
“Not a game the way we really want to play it but it ended up the way you want it to go,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “A lot of crazy things out there but at the end of the day we do enough to win.”
Brandon Crawford and Nick Hundley homered for San Francisco. The Giants, losers of four straight and 26 games out of first place in the NL West, enter the break with the second-worst record in baseball.
“It’s been a tough first half,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “You try to fix a hole in the dike and another springs open. A lot of good things have happened though.”
Ozuna doubled in Yelich in the third, giving him 16 RBIs on Miami’s road trip. That ties the club record for the most on a trip of 10 games or longer shared by Gary Sheffield (1995) and Cody Ross (2008).
CAIN TO THE ‘PEN?
Matt Cain, who was penciled in to start before Bochy opted to go with Cueto, retired one batter, walked two and threw a wild pitch in his first relief appearance of the season. Speculation is that Cain will be in the bullpen regularly once ace Madison Bumgarner returns from the disabled list.
The Giants struggles this season have led to speculation that the team might be sellers before the trade deadline. One of the players who could end up with another team is Cueto, though he downplayed any trade talk following his latest rough outing. “I’m not thinking about that right now,” Cueto said. “For me, I want to stay here but they could decide to trade me.”
Marlins: 2B Miguel Rojas went 1 for 2 with a run scored and was hit by a pitch during a rehab outing with Class-A Jupiter. Rojas has been on the disabled list with a fractured right thumb since May 9.
Giants: LF Gorkys Hernandez was shaken up in the eighth inning when was hit in the face by the ball while trying to make a sliding catch of Dee Gordon’s single. The ball landed in front of Hernandez before bouncing and hitting him.
Marlins: RHP Dan Straily (7-4, 3.31) has been tentatively penciled in to start against the Dodgers in Miami on Friday. Straily could be scratched, however, as his wife is expected to give birth soon.
Giants: Bochy was unsure what the rotation will be after the All-Star break. With ace Madison Bumgarner likely back soon from the disabled list, things could get even more uncertain.
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