MIAMI -- The Rockies, in the thick of the National League Wild Card race, ran into the hottest home run threat on the planet on Friday night. They weren't able to slow Giancarlo Stanton down as he delivered yet again, knocking his MLB-leading 40th home run.
In the eighth inning, Derek Dietrich hit an RBI single and Tomas Telis added a two-run triple off Jake McGee, rallying the Marlins to a 6-3 win over the Rockies at Marlins Park. Colorado (65-50) remains one game up on D-backs for the first NL Wild Card spot.
"[Stanton] just continues to have good at-bats," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "If he's making contact, he's got a good shot at continuing to hit balls in the seats the way he's swinging the bat."
"He's having a great year for sure," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He's one of the best players in the game, and he's doing it every day."
Stanton became just the second player in Marlins history to reach 40 homers. In the sixth inning, the 27-year-old crushed Jon Gray's 89.4-mph slider over the wall in left. Statcast™ projected the shot at 433 feet, with an exit velocity of 111.2 mph. Stanton, who has 19 home runs in his last 31 games, is now two away from the Marlins' single-season record of 42, set by Gary Sheffield in 1996.
"Just a different approach overall at the plate," Stanton said of his success. "A different mindset. One set overall that works. Just stay inside the ball, pretty much."
Gerardo Parra added a solo home run in the sixth inning off Urena. But the Rockies weren't able to add on, and the Marlins erased a two-run deficit to take the victory.
"I don't think I got ahead with my offspeed as much as I should have, and those guys kind of pick out where the fastball's going to be and when," Gray said. "I've got to do a better job than that. It was just a backed-up pitch."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Completing the comeback: In the eighth inning, the Rockies went with McGee, a southpaw, to face a few of Miami's lefty hitters along with Telis, a switch-hitter. Christian Yelich led off with a single, Marcell Ozuna walked and Dietrich put Miami in front with a soft single to center. Telis, who turned around to hit right-handed, laced a two-run triple to left-center.
"At that moment, I was just trying to hit the ball as hard as I can," Telis said. "I was ready for that pitch, and I hit it in the gap and we scored two more runs."
"I was just a little off tonight," McGee said. "And then when I needed to make a few pitches, I left a few pitches over the middle of the plate, and that's going to happen. I had a few chances to get out of it."
Parra flashes cannon: Hesitate and you're lost against Rockies left fielder Parra. In the third and fourth innings, Parra picked up an outfield assist, twice catching Miami baserunners not going full speed. With two outs in the third, Stanton singled to left with Dee Gordon on first. Gordon took a wide turn around second and looked over his shoulder at Parra, who threw him out at third. The throw, per Statcast™, was 96.1 mph. Gordon, according to Statcast™, has an average sprint speed of 29.6 feet per second, which is the fifth fastest of any player in the Majors. But on that play, his average speed per second was 26.5 mph.
"The hard charge to get Gordon was a great play," Black said. "Great play by Nolan on the other end, too, to pick that ball on the quick tag."
In the fourth inning, Parra got Ozuna trying to advance to second on a fly ball that landed just out of Arenado's reach, down the left-field line. Ozuna, thinking the ball would go for an out, didn't run hard out of the box, and Parra threw him out at second.
"He's got a very capable arm," Black said. "That's one of his strengths as a player is his arm. It's another plus tool for him."
"Bad decision by me, not running hard," Ozuna said. "I apologized. I told Donnie, 'I'm going to be better than that.'"
"If you're going to end up being a championship-type club or a club that's going to contend to be in the playoffs, those are not mistakes that you can really afford to make. Those really almost never should happen. Getting thrown out or whatever, making a decision that's maybe a little too aggressive, that's a little different than a mistake where you're really not doing the right thing." -- Mattingly, on two baserunning mistakes
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The last players with 40 homers in their team's first 114 games: Stanton (2017), Chris Davis ('13), David Ortiz ('06), Barry Bonds ('01), Luis Gonzalez ('01) and Sammy Sosa ('01).
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies:Jeff Hoffman (6-3, 5.03 ERA) takes the ball at 5:10 p.m. MT on Saturday at Marlins Park. After posting an 8.00 ERA in July, the right-hander owns a 2.08 ERA in two August starts.
Marlins:Justin Nicolino, recalled on Friday from Triple-A New Orleans, makes his first big league start since June 24. The left-hander is 0-1 with a 5.31 ERA in six games (five starts). He gets the nod at 7:10 p.m. ET.