Marlins hit 4 HRs in win over Dodgers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton appears to have no problem with the dimensions of Dodger Stadium, which isn’t exactly a home run haven.
The power-hitting right fielder made Chavez Ravine his personal launching pad this weekend, homering for the third straight game as the Miami Marlins beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 on Sunday.
Stanton drove a first-pitch fastball from Aaron Harang over the center-field wall in the fourth inning for his 29th homer, tying it at 1.
It was his eighth homer during the Marlins’ 5-6 road trip. The previous club record for homers on a single trip was six by Miguel Cabrera (10 games), Mike Lowell (12 games) and Preston Wilson (13 games).
“He’s got so much power, it’s ridiculous,” winning pitcher Mark Buehrle said. “Every time he hits the ball, it has a chance of going out. I mean, he has 29 home runs right now — and he’s missed a month and a half. So it’s kind of scary when you think about what he could have done if he was healthy all year.”
The 22-year-old Stanton, who was born in nearby Panorama City and played his high school ball in Sherman Oaks, had 22 homers as a rookie in 2010 and 34 last season. He is batting .326 over his last 12 games with 14 RBIs, but it’s those 15 strikeouts during that stretch that have kept him humble.
“I’ve put some good swings on mistakes that were out over the plate,” Stanton said. “But the way I’ve been making outs, I don’t think that I’m on any kind of a roll. I don’t set goals for myself. I just try to be the best I can be, and then all the numbers will come. But don’t be barking off, ‘I’m going to do this or that.'”
Rob Brantly gave Miami the lead for good with his first major league homer, and the Marlins also got long balls from Jose Reyes and Carlos Lee.
Buehrle (12-11) won his third straight start, allowing a run and six hits in 5 2-3 innings with four strikeouts and three walks. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth by retiring Hanley Ramirez on a popup and Andre Ethier on a grounder with the Marlins holding a 3-1 lead.
Brantly had put the Marlins ahead in the top half with a two-run shot.
“It seems that every time we’ve scored a run or two, I go out there and give back at least one. So that was a big moment in the game,” Buehrle said. “I got in a bunch of jams today that I usually don’t pitch out of.
“I was joking around with somebody and saying, `Usually, when a guy gets on third base with less than two outs, just let him score and start over fresh,’ because a lot of times the other team puts the ball in play and scores a run. But my job is to battle and make pitches when I need to,” Buehrle said.
Ethier singled home a run in the seventh, but was called out for interference moments later after making incidental contact with Lee at first base on a popup by Luis Cruz that was dropped by catcher Brantly just inside the first base line. Cruz, sent back to the plate on the dead ball following a lengthy discussion among the umpires, flied out to end the inning.
The Marlins made it 4-2 in the eighth when Ramirez misplayed Bryan Petersen’s two-out grounder to shortstop with the bases loaded for an error. Steve Cishek retired new Dodgers slugger Adrian Gonzalez with the bases loaded to end the eighth, then pitched a hitless ninth for his 11th save in 14 chances.
Reyes and Lee had homered back-to-back against rookie Shawn Tolleson in the top of the ninth.
Harang (9-8) allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings. The homers by Stanton and Brantly increased the total allowed this season by the right-hander to 14. He gave up an average of 24.9 home runs over the previous eight seasons — including 35 in 2008 with Cincinnati.
“Early on I was able to locate my fastball and I felt like I was able to mix up a lot of my pitches,” Harang said. “The pitch to Brantly was supposed to be a backdoor cutter, that stayed out over the middle. He’s another young, aggressive hitter who swung at the first pitch.”
Ethier was called out on strikes by Tony Randazzo in the first after hitting safely in each of his previous 10 plate appearances, and ended up tied with Ed Konetchy for the franchise record for consecutive at-bats with a hit. Konetchy did it in 1919.
Ethier was in an 0-for-18 drought before starting his string of hits. Only one player since 1952 has had hits in 11 consecutive at-bats — Bernie Williams in 2002 with the Yankees. The major league record is 12, by Johnny Kling (1902 Cubs), Pinky Higgins (1938 Red Sox) and Walt Dropo (1952 Tigers).
NOTES: Brantly hit 11 home runs in 980 at-bats during his 262-game minor league career. The Marlins obtained him in a trade with Detroit on July 23. … The Dodgers announced before the game that Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will be back behind the microphone next season, his 64th with the club. … Ramirez, acquired by the Dodgers in a trade with the Marlins on July 25 for RHP Nathan Eovaldi, was 1 for 12 with six strikeouts in the series. The only hit was a two-run homer off Eovaldi on Friday night in an 11-4 Dodgers victory.