Stanton smashes liner to center for 27th HR

Slugger one homer shy of Marlins' record before All-Star break

Stanton smashes liner to center for 27th HR

MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton made the biggest part of Marlins Park play small in the second inning on Wednesday night with his latest jaw-dropping home run.

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The blistered drive to straightaway center was projected at 454 feet by Statcast™ with an exit velocity of 115 mph. Stanton's drive came in a scoreless game on the first pitch he saw from Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia. Still, it wasn't enough to lift the Marlins, who lost 6-1.

With 27 homers, Stanton is closing in on the Marlins' record for home runs before the All-Star break. Mike Lowell holds the mark with 28, set in 2003. It was Stanton's 12th homer in June, matching the most ever by a Marlin in any month. In May 2012, Stanton also had 12 homers, and Dan Uggla connected 12 times in May 2008.

Stanton ended up going 3-for-4, including a single in the seventh that clanked off the top of the wall in right field. But in all four of his at-bats, the slugger led off the inning.

"We had Giancarlo lead off four innings tonight," manager Dan Jennings said. "You have to get people on in front of that, the way he's swinging the bat right now. He crushes the home run. The ball off the wall. The hard single up the middle. Swung the bat absolutely great."

On the homer, Garcia delivered a 91 mph two-seam fastball that Stanton was all over, lining it over the wall in center.

As with many of Stanton's homers, it was a liner that kept going. Statcast™ had the launch angle at 16 degrees, showing that the ball didn't sail very high. It just went very far.

Stanton is on pace to shatter Lowell's mark. Lowell had his 28 in 87 games, while Stanton was playing his 72nd game Wednesday.

The Marlins season record is 42, set by Gary Sheffield in 1996. Sheffield had 25 homers in 87 games before the break that season.

Stanton's season high is 37, done twice (2012, '14).

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