For their first 24 years as a franchise, only one member of the Florida/Miami Marlins ever reached the 40-home run mark.
On this day five years ago, a second joined the club. Giancarlo Stanton put his name next to Gary Sheffield on the club’s list of players with 40 home runs in a season with a sixth-inning blast in a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Sheffield set the club record with 42 home runs in 1996. Stanton entered with 39 for the season as the Miami Marlins hosted the Rockies at Marlins Park on August 11, 2017.
Miami was on the short end of a 3-1 score as Stanton stepped to the plate to face Colorado starter Jon Gray in the bottom of the sixth. Stanton was 1-for-2 with a single to that point, but on the third pitch from Gray, he left no doubt.
His shot to left field cleared the “Clevelander” sign and drew Miami to within a run. One might argue it swung momentum.
Before the inning was over, the Marlins had drawn even on a sacrifice fly from J.T. Realmuto. In the eighth, Miami went ahead for the first time with three runs.
Derek Dietrich’s RBI single put Miami ahead for good before Tomas Telis’ two-run triple provided the insurance. The Miami bullpen of Dustin McGowan, Jarlin García, Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler combined to throw 3 2⁄3 scoreless innings while allowing only one hit.
Offensively, the Marlins didn’t get their first run until the fifth when Miguel Rojas grounded into a double play with runners on the corners. All of Colorado’s offense came courtesy of the long ball as Nolan Arenado hit a two-run blast in the third before Gerardo Parra came through with a solo shot in the sixth.
As for homers, Stanton was far from done in 2017. He fell short of hitting his 60th on the final day of the regular season, but finished with a club record 59 blasts en route to becoming the first Miami player to win National League MVP. He joined Sheffield in the 40-homer club on this day five years ago.