Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge may never have gotten the chance to meet in the home run derby finals this year as everyone prognosticated, but that’s not stopping them from battling atop the leader board as the season wears on.
Stanton belted home runs 31 and 32 to tie Judge for the major league lead Monday. More importantly, his two bombs helped lead the Marlins to a 4--0 victory over the Texas Rangers in game one of their best of three.
Stanton loves smashing dingers in the first inning and this game was no exception. With Gordon on board courtesy a double, Stanton lifted a low-and-in offering from Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez into the left-field bleachers to give the Fish and early 2-0 advantage.
Things would stay that way until the sixth, when Christian Yelich singled and Marcell Ozuna followed up with a double to deep center-field that easily plated the hustling Yelich, 3-0 Marlins.
Meanwhile, Adam Conley was quietly putting together his best outing of the season, scattering seven hits over what ultimately became seven innings of shut out baseball, striking out five and walking...none? Yeah, that’s definitely a zero. Awesome. It’s the Conley we envisioned at the beginning of the season, giving him something to build off of.
Stanton, not content with his power display from earlier in the game, added a solo shot to right field in the eighth inning off of reliever Jeremy Jeffress. In addition to leading the majors in home runs, he also leads baseball in multi-home run efforts this season (with seven). Trade him now (don’t trade him).
The final Stanbomb of the night brought the score to 4-0 Marlins, where it would remain courtesy a couple of clean innings from soon-to-be closer Kyle Barraclough and closer du jour AJ Ramos.
- Justin Bour was lifted from the game in the top of the fourth inning with a right oblique strain, with Ichiro! pinch-hitting for him. Tyler Moore had already been in the game at first base. It appears likely that Bour is headed to the 10-Day DL.
- Miguel Rojas also got hurt in the game, banging up his left shoulder in a diving attempt at a ball in play. Though he was clearly in pain and openly wincing, Rojas stayed in for the rest of the ballgame (JT Riddle was “available,” but wasn’t going to play unless forced to). Rojas is day-to-day. With Bour likely heading to the DL, we’ll probably see one of Christian Colon, Steve Lombardozzi, or Mike Aviles up here soon for some middle infield relief.
- ICYMI: Tom Koehler was demoted prior to the game with the lefty Hunter Cervenka rising to take his stead. No word yet as to who would be taking Koehler’s spot in the rotation against the Reds at home on Friday.
- Three of the seven Rangers’ hits off of Conley tonight came courtesy of the splendid veteran Adrian Beltre, who added a fourth single off of Ramos in the ninth. The four hit performance brought Beltre within seven hits of 3,000 in his Hall of Fame career.
While the July trade deadline continues to tick down to zero, Dan Straily and Cole Hamels will go toe-to-toe at 8:05 eastern in game two tonight from sweltering Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Kingfish: Adam Conley (.418)
Flounder: Mike Napoli (-.145)
Play of the Game: Stanton first inning dong scores Gordon (.123)