Stanton flashes leather, arm with stellar DP

Stanton flashes leather, arm with stellar DP

MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton is much more than just a power hitter. The 25-year-old on Wednesday showed why he was a National League Gold Glove Award finalist in 2014.

In the fourth inning of Miami's 2-0 loss to the Braves at Marlins Park, Stanton made what might wind up being Miami's best defensive play of the season, turning a line drive into an improbable double play.

The web gem came after Miami right-hander Tom Koehler walked Nick Markakis, bringing up Freddie Freeman, who laced a hot liner to right-center. The drive appeared to be headed for extra bases, but Stanton ran it down and used all of his 6-foot-6 frame to make a remarkable diving catch.

The crowd of 16,127 erupted.

"Who wasn't fired up?" Koehler said. "I don't know how many people were here, but I've never heard the place like that. That was amazing."

Making the catch was only the first part of Stanton's brilliant play.

Thinking the ball was headed for the wall, Markakis was rounding second as Stanton was springing to his feet. Stanton collected himself and made a strong throw to first to complete the double play.

"I was sitting there on the bench thinking, 'Man, this is what we needed right here, a big defensive play to get us fired up,'" Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.

A two-time All-Star, Stanton led the NL in home runs with 37 last year. But many might not remember the slugger finished second to Jason Heyward, then with Atlanta, for the Gold Glove Award in right field.

Miami's offense didn't respond to Stanton's gem, but defensively, the team had a strong night.

Christian Yelich, the 2014 NL Gold Glove-winning left fielder, threw out Alberto Callaspo trying to stretch a single to a double in the fifth inning.

"That's one thing we did do tonight," Yelich said. "We played good defense. We didn't really let the scuffling on offense [affect] the defensive side. We were able to make some good plays tonight."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.