It’s no secret that during his time in Miami, Giancarlo Stanton hit a lot of home runs. Sometimes forgotten however, may be how many clutch blasts there were off his bat.
One of those took place on this day 10 years ago. Then known as Mike Stanton, his three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the Florida Marlins past the Colorado Rockies, 6-3.
In a matchup of winning teams, the Florida bullpen had just squandered a stellar start from Josh Johnson on April 24, 2011. Johnson allowed just one run on three hits through seven innings, but a sacrifice fly from Carlos González and an RBI double from Troy Tulowitzki in the Colorado eighth evened things at 3-3.
To start the bottom of the eighth, Colorado’s Matt Reynolds struck out Chris Coghlan before the Rockies went back to the bullpen and Matt Belisle. Belisle allowed a single to Omar Infante before striking out Hanley Ramírez. Gaby Sanchez was able to work a walk for the Marlins, which brought Stanton to the plate with two on.
After a first-pitch ball, Stanton got an off-speed pitch and absolutely crushed it, narrowly missing hitting it into the upper deck. The blast would cap the scoring as the Marlins took the rubber game of a three-game set.
Leading to the ninth, all three Florida runs came in the fifth inning on a bases-loaded triple by Infante. The Rockies got on the board in the top of the sixth with an RBI double from Jonathan Herrera before drawing even in the eighth off reliever Clay Hensley. Juan Carlos Oviedo—then known as Leo Núñez—retired Colorado in order in the ninth to earn the save.
After hitting 22 home runs as a rookie in 2010, Stanton blasted 34 in 2011, his first full season at the Major League level. His monster shot against the Rockies was just his second of the season, but served as the game- and series-winner. It happened on this day a decade ago.