Miami Marlins Spring Training: Stanton caps home run barrage in loss


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Giancarlo Stanton is ready for the regular season to start.

That became even more apparent on Sunday afternoon when the Marlins star right fielder launched his third spring home run, a two-run blast off Doug Fister in the third inning at the Washington Nationals’ Space Coast Stadium.

Balls were flying out of the Viera, FL ballpark Sunday. Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna provided his own two-run longball in the second off Fister, and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia connected on a solo shot of his own that same inning.

The Nationals launched four home runs of their own, with Michael Taylor, Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos each connecting off Tom Koehler.

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Before the entire Marlins starting lineup was pulled in advance of the sixth inning the team held a 7-6 lead. Fister surrendered six of those runs, including the three homers, and reliever Aaron Barrett gave up the seventh run, courtesy of a Saltalamacchia RBI single in the top of the fifth.

Mike Redmond once again fielded what is expected to be Miami’s full Opening Day lineup, and once again the starting nine looked solid. Batting second, Christian Yelich was 2-for-3 on the day with an RBI double. Cleanup man Michael Morse ended the day 2-for-3 with a strikeout and Ozuna, slotted sixth was 2-for-2 with a walk and the two-run blast. Saltalamacchia even had himself a day, going 2-for-3 with no strikeouts (!!!).

Koehler got the start for the Marlins and, like Fister, seemed content to just get his work in and not worry about spring statistics. In Koehler’s four innings he allowed six runs on 10 hits, two walks and three strikeouts.

Fister’s final line was four innings, six runs, eight hits, one walk, two punch outs and three home runs.

Both pitchers are essential locks for their team’s rotation, so Sunday’s outings were not about preserving spring ERA’s. With Opening Day a week from tomorrow, we’re at that point in Spring Training where guys are trying to get stretched out and work perfecting what mechanical flaws might be left in their deliveries.

Koehler will likely see one more spring start, perhaps in one of the Marlins matchups with their minor league affiliates next week.

Once the Marlins reserves took over, Washington knotted the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the sixth when Bryce Harper laced an RBI double to right field off David Phelps.

Phelps, who has a great shot of making the club, provided Miami with two innings of work, allowing the one run on a pair of hits while striking out two and walking none. His spring ERA stands at an even 1.00.

Things fell apart for the Marlins when Nick Masset imploded in the bottom of the eighth. The bullpen hopeful may have cost himself a roster spot in Miami, as he surrendered four runs in his two innings of work to close out the game. He walked two, struck out two and allowed two hits. Jose Lobaton cranked out Washington’s fourth home run of the day off Masset, putting an exclamation mark on a huge offensive day for both teams.

The Marlins on Monday travel to Port St. Lucie to take on the New York Mets for the final time this spring. Dan Haren and Rafael Montero are the scheduled starting pitchers.

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