NEW YORK -- Giancarlo Stanton might not be an All-Star this year, but his performance Tuesday night reminded fans why he's still a household name.
Stanton smacked a two-run home run in the seventh inning to put the Marlins ahead, then added a three-run shot an inning later in a 5-2 Miami victory over the Mets at Citi Field. The seventh-inning homer was Stanton's second hit of the game, and up to that point, only the Marlins' fifth hit of the night off Mets starter Steven Matz.
"He's a great hitter, he's got great power. He's not hitting very good," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Stanton, who raised his average to .226 with his 3-for-4 night. "So you've got to make a pitch. We didn't make a pitch. It always comes down to that. He's a tremendous, the most powerful guy in the league. But you've got to make pitches. You can't just get in 3-2. You have to make the pitch you would make if the game was on the line. And we didn't make it."
Stanton's homer off Matz was his second of the season off the left-hander. On Tuesday, he lined a laser shot that Statcast™ projected at 436 feet with an exit velocity of 115 mph and a launch angle of just 16 degrees.
"It's huge that it was more to win the game," Stanton said. "That's the biggest part here, when we let yesterday slip away. We needed that."
Miami starter Wei-Yin Chen allowed just three hits in seven innings. The sole run Chen allowed came on a home run by All-Star Yoenis Cespedes, who recorded two of the three hits off the lefty. Matz didn't have a bad night of his own, limiting the Marlins to no runs and four hits through the first six innings before he began to struggle in the seventh, when he allowed three hits, one of which being the Stanton two-run homer.
"Obviously, what Stanton did is what we needed tonight," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "You see that game at 1-0 and you think it's going to be one of those 1:45 games and end kind of like that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Stanton performs like a star: Stanton made a nice catch on Juan Lagares' liner with two on and two outs in the seventh inning. But it was with his bat that the right fielder made his biggest impression. Stanton hasn't had much celebrate in the first half, but he performed like a star on Tuesday, enjoying his 17th career multi-homer game, and first of the season. His last two-homer game was on June 9, 2015, at Toronto. Stanton's five RBIs are a season high.
"I'm coming back, coming back," Stanton said. "It's a long road from here. That's why you don't worry where you're at once the season starts. You just keep plugging away and try to win each day, and know by the end of the year, it will pan out."
Earning those votes: On the same night he was elected to start for the National League in next week's All-Star Game, Cespedes once again proved his status as the most potent bat in the Mets' lineup. After singling in the first inning, Cespedes laced a home run over the left-field wall in the fourth, which landed 431 feet away and came off the bat at 103 mph, according to Statcast™.
"Cespedes is a great player and we're lucky to have him, and I think he's showing why he made the team," Collins said of Cespedes being voted in as an All-Star. More >
All-Star Ozuna's timely hit: Named to his first All-Star Game, Marcell Ozuna came through with a clutch hit to lead off the seventh inning. The hit turned into a big moment, because it got Matz to work out of the stretch for Stanton, who responded with a two-run homer that put Miami in front, 2-1. The Marlins placed four in the All-Star Game -- Ozuna, Jose Fernandez, A.J. Ramos and Fernando Rodney.
Rodney allowed a home run to Alejandro De Aza in the eighth inning, and in the ninth, Ramos locked down his 25th save in 26 chances.
"Great day. First timers for A.J. and Ozo; they will never forget today and their experience next week," Stanton said. "I'll give them little tidbits of what to do, what not to do, and make sure they enjoy it to the fullest." More >
Bad day, Jose:Jose Reyes' return to the Mets was not one for the memory books. Playing third base for the first time as a big leaguer, Reyes wasn't tasked with fielding a ball from the hot corner, and he underwhelmed at the plate, going 0-for-4 and lacking patience at the plate, only seeing 11 pitches across those four at-bats.
"That's what I say, a little bit anxious," Reyes said. "But tomorrow and the days to come, I'll be better." More >
"G's home run was really important. He's a great hitter. Maybe this year he is having some tough luck. Seeing him hit those two home runs tonight, he's on the right track. I think the team is in good shape right now, the offense and the defense. For me, I wish I can keep pitching well so I can help contribute to the team." -- Chen, through his interpreter, after his fifth win of the season
WHAT'S NEXT Marlins: The Marlins cap their nine-game road trip with a 1:10 p.m. ET contest on Wednesday at Citi Field. Justin Nicolino (2-4, 5.34 ERA) faces the Mets for the second time this season. The lefty held New York to two runs in 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision June 4 at Marlins Park.
Mets: The Mets send Jacob deGrom to the hill Wednesday for a 1:10 p.m. ET matinee to wrap up the series. deGrom has not faced the Marlins yet this season, but he has been dominant against the Fish in his career, going 3-1 against them and posting his best strikeout rate against any opponent he's faced more than once.