Stanton, Marlins back Phelps' career night vs. Rockies
By Christina De Nicola and Steve Wilaj
MIAMI -- Early offense paired with a strong bounce-back effort from David Phelps paved the way to a 6-0 Marlins win against the Rockies on Thursday night at Marlins Park in the opening contest of a four-game set. Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run blast in the first inning for his Major League-leading 22nd home run of the season, while Phelps -- who allowed nine earned runs at Colorado on Saturday -- tossed a career-high eight scoreless frames.
"That's an outstanding outing by him to set the tone the way he did," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said of Phelps. "Five days ago he certainly wasn't pleased with his outing against this same team that was leading the National League in hitting.
After Martin Prado and Christian Yelich reached with one out in the first, Stanton smashed a line drive over the left-field wall for a 3-0 Marlins lead. Miami then got two more runs in the second inning on a Yelich RBI triple and a Stanton RBI infield single, before Jeff Baker added a fifth-inning solo home run.
That was more than enough for Phelps. Meanwhile, all of Miami's runs came off Rockies starter Chris Rusin, who was roughed up for 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Lineup change pays off: For the second straight game, Yelich hit third in an effort to create more baserunners for Stanton, who slid to the cleanup spot. It paid off in the first inning when -- after Prado's one-out double -- Yelich walked. Rusin was then forced to pitch to Stanton, and the slugger, who struck out four times vs. Rusin on Saturday, promptly launched a three-run line-drive homer to left. The Yelich-Stanton duo struck again in the second inning when Yelich notched an RBI triple before Stanton followed with an RBI infield single. More >
No encore for Rusin: After limiting the Marlins to two runs over seven innings in his last start, Rusin gave up three runs in the first inning alone. He fell behind 3-1 and watched Stanton's line-drive homer exit at 115 mph, according to Statcast™. Rusin also walked two in the frame, as many as he issued on Saturday at Coors Field. Over 5 1/3 frames, Rusin tied a career high with six runs allowed. More >
Phelps flips script: Phelps was rocked by Colorado on Saturday for nine earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings. However, it was a different story for the righty on Thursday. He cruised through his eight innings, allowing just four hits and striking out six on 111 pitches.
"I didn't make a whole lot of quality pitches the last time against these guys, and that really was what I was focusing on tonight," Phelps said. "Just keeping the ball down in the zone and executing my pitches. It paid off." More >
Dickerson, Hawkins make successful returns:Corey Dickerson, on the disabled list since May 19 with plantar fasciitis, went 2-for-4. He doubled to deep left-center in the seventh and added a two-strike, two-out single in the ninth. Right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, who landed on the DL on April 22 with biceps tendinitis, pitched a scoreless eighth.
"Both did a nice job," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Corey swung the bat well, got a couple of hits. Hawk settled in and had a nice inning." More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With Thursday's performance, Stanton now has 13 home runs and 41 RBIs in 35 career games against the Rockies.
"I was running from first trying to score on a double. I thought it was gonna bounce and hit the wall, but it kind of just went over it. He's probably the only guy in the league where that's a homer. Everybody else, it's either hitting off the fence or the guy's maybe catching it. He's a special player and he's showing everybody what he can do right now. -- Yelich, on Stanton's home run
"It was a great play. Obviously it's frustrating whenever you hit the ball hard, but that's OK. I know Yelich. I played with him in high school, so I guess that's all right that he caught my ball." -- Nolan Arenado, on Yelich robbing him of extra bases in the second inning
ICHIRO MOVING UP
With his eighth-inning single, Ichiro Suzuki passed Frankie Frisch to move into 39th place on MLB's all-time hit list with 2,881. Ichiro is now three hits behind Zack Wheat, who has 2,884 for 38th all-time.
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies:Kyle Kendrick (2-7, 6.16 ERA) looks for his 15th career win against the Marlins at 5:10 p.m. MT on Friday. In his last start, he held Miami to two runs on five hits over seven innings in a no-decision. Kendrick has pitched into the seventh in six of his last seven outings.
Marlins:Jose Urena (0-2, 5.49 ERA) gets the call Friday night, fresh off a strong outing against the Rockies on Sunday at Coors Field. The rookie allowed just three hits in six innings of one-run ball.