Marlins hold on after Stanton helps rock Rox early

Marlins hold on after Stanton helps rock Rox early

Marlins hold on after Stanton helps rock Rox early
DENVER -- Giancarlo Stanton added to his Coors Field lore Saturday night, but did more than make Major League history with another long home run.

In the Marlins' 6-5 win over the Rockies, Stanton belted a three-run homer to highlight a four-run first inning, rocketing a 1-0 fastball from Tyler Chatwood an estimated 448 feet onto the concourse in left field. Stanton is the first player in Major League history to homer in his first six games in one ballpark.

Stanton also saved a run when he ended the second with a running catch in right-center field on a drive hit by Jordan Pacheco. With a runner on the move from first, Stanton extended his long left arm to snare the ball and somersaulted as he hit the ground. Given the troubles closer Steve Cishek had, yielding two runs in the ninth inning and ending the game with the tying run on first, Stanton's catch was vital.

"I paused, took maybe a half step in," Stanton said. "I didn't get the best read on it, but I tracked it down and snagged it. It's what helps win games, the little things."

Erstwhile closer Heath Bell and starter Nathan Eovaldi shared in the heroics as the Marlins bunched their runs in the first two innings, and won two straight games for the first time since Aug. 7-8. Eovaldi retired the first two batters in the seventh before Josh Rutledge singled, and Eovaldi issued his fourth walk on his 115th and final pitch to Dexter Fowler. Reliever Chad Gaudin got Michael Cuddyer to ground into a force play.

But Gaudin opened the eighth by walking leadoff hitter Wilin Rosario and gave up singles to Tyler Colvin and Pacheco, making it 6-2 and putting runners on second and third for Bell. He struck out pinch-hitter Ramon Hernandez, got Chris Nelson to loft a sacrifice fly and Eric Young Jr. to roll out to second.

"I think the key in this game was Bell," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "There's no doubt."

There was also absolute certainty when Stanton connected on Chatwood's 95-mph fastball on the inner portion of the plate. The ball landed on the concourse and bounced through an opening and onto the parking lot for the Rockies players, raising the possibility of a shattered window and a repair job.

"Hopefully not," Stanton said, "but if there is, I'm not paying for it."

Stanton came up with runners on first and second and one out. He took Chatwood's first fastball for a strike and then launched the second.

"I knew he was going to come in to [try to] get the double play or not let me get [my arms] extended with guys on first and second and less than two outs," Stanton said. "He came up and in the first pitch, so I figured he was going to repeat it."

When told he was the first player in Major League history to hit a home run in each of his first six games at a particular ballpark, Stanton said, "Anytime you do something no one's ever done in the big leagues, it's something pretty cool."

Chatwood said he was trying to go in off the plate "for effect," and made a good pitch and credited Stanton for putting a good swing on it.

"He's that strong of a man," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "You make a bad pitch, or sometimes you make a good pitch and he's looking in a specific area where it shows up, he can hurt you.

"He's a classic example of a big-time slugger. You can get him out, but in the process of doing so, if you misfire and the ball sits in the middle of the plate or hangs if it's a secondary pitch and he runs into it, there's no ballpark in the league, American or National, that can hold him. I can promise you that."

After their big first inning, which began with three straight singles, the Marlins added two runs in the second. Jose Reyes, who like Stanton had three RBIs, singled home the first run of the game and hit a two-run triple with two out in the second.

Eovaldi held the Rockies hitless until the fourth when Cuddyer singled following a leadoff walk. Colvin's one-out double brought Fowler home, but Eovaldi stranded the two runners in scoring position when Pacheco lined to first and DJ LeMahieu grounded to first.

Eovaldi gave up consecutive two-out singles in the fifth, but Cuddyer flied to right. The righty allowed just the one run in 6 2/3 innings, nearly matching his season high of seven innings in his 2012 debut on May 29, and made his longest of five starts for Marlins, who acquired Eovaldi from the Dodgers on July 25 in the Hanley Ramirez deal.

"He threw more strikes, that was the key," Guillen said. "He was still a little bit off. But the fastball was coming out of his hands very well. This kid only needs to throw strikes. He's got a great arm. He's got a great idea of what he wants to do. It's a process."

After Bell shut down the Rockies in the eighth, Cishek took the mound for what became a 24-pitch ninth. He had allowed one run in 18 innings in his previous 20 games and got Josh Rutledge to line to third for the first out.

After Fowler singled, pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera grounded out, moving Fowler to second. Rosario hit a ball that was headed into left field, but struck third-base umpire Dan Bellino in the right foot, and Fowler had to stop at third.

Rosario took second base on defensive indifference, and Colvin singled home two runs before Cishek got Pacheco to ground out for his hard-earned ninth save.

"With two outs, all I'm thinking about is focus on this hitter," Cishek said. "I just had to try to bear down as much as possible and just got through it, because I didn't feel the same out there as I usually do."

Jack Etkin is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.