DENVER (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton insisted he wasn’t caught napping. That it was simply a heads-up play by Charlie Blackmon to turn a routine single to right field into a double.
Just the way the day — and the series, for that matter — went for the Miami Marlins as they fell 7-4 to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
The Marlins left town dropping two of three to the worst team in the National League. Not exactly what they were looking for in the middle of a wild-card chase.
"We left a few on base. You can’t do that in this park," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond, whose team stranded eight runners. "Four runs in this ballpark isn’t enough."
In the sixth, Stanton nonchalantly fielded a roller through the infield and casually threw it toward the infield. Blackmon immediately rounded first and easily slid into second.
The gutsy play paid off as Blackmon later scored on a double from Drew Stubbs to give the Rockies a 5-2 lead. Blackmon said the idea came to him the night before, watching Stanton play so deep in the outfield.
"He did the same thing today," Blackmon said. "I timed it right and just kept going."
The All-Star outfielder said he wasn’t caught off guard. He knew Blackmon was going.
"Blackmon came out of the box going hard. He took a chance and got to second," Redmond said.
That insurance run would come in handy as the Marlins scored twice in the seventh on an RBI double by Jeff Baker and a run-scoring single for Stanton.
DJ LeMahieu then gave Colorado some breathing room with a two-run double in the seventh.
Miami’s Brad Hand (2-6) settled down after giving up two early homers. But he lasted just 4 1-3 innings and was charged with four runs and nine hits.
Christian Bergman (1-2) worked into the seventh to earn his first major league win and Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer. It was the Rockies’ fifth victory in seven games, which is their best stretch since mid-June.
The right-handed Bergman was reinstated from the DL earlier in the day after missing 51 games with a broken left hand. He gave up nine hits and four runs in his first start since June 20.
"We were strapped today, so we needed Bergman to go deep and he did," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss, whose team beat the Marlins in 13 innings on Saturday.
But Bergman didn’t even so much as get the game ball to commemorate his inaugural big-league victory.
"I’m sure someone probably has it for me," Bergman said, grinning. "This feels pretty good. It didn’t go exactly as planned. But it never does."
Arenado kept up his torrid month by going 2 for 4, raising his average to .388 in August. He also was hit on the right elbow in the fifth but stayed in the game with what he described as a stinger.
Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria tied a team record with two triples, each after Blackmon struggled to pick up the ball in the glare of the sun as he retreated toward the fence in right.
The last Miami player with two triples in a game was Jose Reyes on Sept. 7, 2012, at Washington.
Marlins: LHP Dan Jennings, who suffered a concussion when he was hit in the head by a line drive on Aug. 7, threw two innings on Friday for Single-A Jupiter. His next appearance is to be determined.
Rockies: OF Michael Cuddyer (strained left hamstring) was placed on the DL for the third time this season. The NL batting champion also was out with a strained left hamstring in April and missed more than two months with a fractured left shoulder. "This year has been rough," Cuddyer said.
Marlins: Miami will make its first visit to Anaheim, California, since 2005 to play the Angels. RHP Jarred Cosart (1-1, 2.45 ERA) pitches for the Marlins when the series begins Monday night.
Rockies: After nine straight at Coors Field, the Rockies head to San Francisco on Monday. LHP Tyler Matzek (2-9, 5.38 ERA) goes for Colorado.