Stanton announces return with moonshot

Healthy Marlins slugger hits first homer since June

Stanton announces return with moonshot

MIAMI -- It was a blast from the past and a welcome sight from Giancarlo Stanton. The three-time All-Star connected on a moon-shot-style home run in the sixth inning off Justin Verlander in the Marlins' 8-7, 11-inning loss to the Tigers at Marlins Park on Tuesday night.

The shot that rocked the sold-out stadium of 36,911 also sent a signal that Stanton is indeed back as powerful as ever after he appeared in just 74 games in 2015 before a broken left hamate bone ended his season.

With two out in the sixth inning, and the Marlins trailing, 5-1, Stanton connected on a drive that landed an estimated 400.96 feet from home plate, according to Statcast™. The exit velocity was 110.63 mph, and the launch angle was 36.80 degrees. The projected height was 143.85 feet, and the hang time was 6.98 seconds.

"He got that one," Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon said. "That was a good one. I'm glad he got it quick. It's been a long time since he's hit a homer at Marlins Park. I'm happy for him."

The homer was Stanton's first since June 24, 2015, against St. Louis, two days before his injury. It was the first Opening Day home run of Stanton's career.

Manager Don Mattingly noted the significance of the blast in that it helped wake up the Marlins' offense.

"It did a lot of good," Mattingly said. "The home run is big because it gets you back in the game."

If he stays healthy, Stanton is capable of big numbers. The slugger, though, doesn't talk about his projected numbers.

The main thing is, Stanton is thrilled to be healthy.

"I'm just happy to be back," Stanton said. "It feels like forever since I've been back. I'm ready to play. I don't put numbers out, but I'm just happy to be with my teammates and be out there."

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.