By Christopher Stock, Associated Press
MIAMI — Two of the game’s best players reached impressive statistical marks on Friday.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his Major League-leading 40th home run as the Miami Marlins beat Nolan Arenado and the Colorado Rockies 6-3 on Friday night.
“When he’s making contact, he’s got a good shot to continue to put balls in the seats,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Stanton.
Derek Dietrich hit a tie-breaking bloop single to spark a three-run eighth inning to help the Marlins take the lead.
Stanton’s blast pulled him within two of the Marlins’ franchise record of 42 set by Gary Sheffield in 1996. Stanton has hit seven home runs in his last eight games to reach the 40-home run plateau for the first time in his eight-year career.
“In due time,” Stanton said of breaking the club record with 48 games remaining. “We have time. Just have to play right.”
Junichi Tazawa (2-2) tossed a scoreless eighth to earn the victory and Brad Ziegler pitched the ninth to record his third save in six chances. Jake McGee (0-2) took the loss for the Rockies.
The Rockies took a 2-0 lead in the third on Arenado’s two-run home run, his 26th, making him the first player in the majors with 100 RBIs.
“He’s having a great year for sure,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He’s one of the best players in the game and he’s doing it every day. . This guy has come into his own as a player, has improved offensively to the point now where he’s one of the most dangerous hitters in the game and the numbers speak for themselves on this.”
Stanton and Arenado are having impressive seasons, but not to be outdone, Rockies’ center fielder Charlie Blackmon is having an MVP-caliber season. Blackmon went 1 for 3 with a double, a run scored, and two walks in addition to making an impressive running catch towards the wall.
Gerardo Parra homered in the sixth for the Rockies, who have lost three of four after dropping the first of a three-game series in Miami.
“It would be nice to string some hits together,” Black said. “We just haven’t done it.”
Parra, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, also had two assists from left field throwing out runners in the third and fourth innings.
“He’s got a very capable arm,” Black said. “That’s one of his strengths as a player. It’s another plus tool for him so that was good to see.”
Dietrich scored Miami’s first run in the fifth when Miguel Rojas grounded into a double play.
Stanton’s solo homer to left field in the sixth off Jon Gray pulled the Marlins within 3-2. It was his 25th solo home run of the season.
Christian Yelich followed Stanton with a double to left and scored on a sacrifice fly by J.T. Realmuto to tie the game at 3.
Gray allowed three runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings, striking out four and walking two.
“I just expanded too much,” Gray said. “I should have went right after guys, but it’s just a note to self. It can’t happen again.”
The Rockies trailed for the first time when McGee allowed a lead-off single to Yelich, who advanced to second on a walk, and scored on Dietrich’s bloop fly single to center field.
Tomas Telis followed with a two-run triple to stretch Miami’s lead to 6-3.
“I was just a little off tonight and then when I needed to make a few pitches … I left pitches over the middle of the plate and that’s what’s going to happen,” McGee said.
Miami starter Jose Urena allowed three runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out three and walking one.
Rockies undecided on Monday’s starter
Colorado manager Bud Black is undecided on Monday’s starting pitcher against Atlanta. Black is considering a trio of right-handers in Chad Bettis, Antonio Senzatela, and Tyler Chatwood.
OF Ian Desmond (right calf strain) is “still a ways away” from beginning a rehab assignment, according to Black. Desmond has been on the disabled list since July 26.