Giancarlo Stanton unleashed his 40th home run of the season on Friday night, a new career high mark and about two home runs shy of a new franchise record, too. The milestone blast came in the sixth inning of the Marlins’ 6-3 showstopper against the Rockies, kicking off a late-game rally that shifted Colorado to a mere half-game lead in the National League wild card standings.
Per Statcast, Stanton muscled the ball an estimated 433 feet to center field. The solo shot marked his seventh homer in his last 10 games; with just two more, he’ll tie Gary Sheffield for most single-season home runs in the Marlins’ 25-year history. Sheffield hit the mark in 1996 on a fifth-inning pitch off of the Expos’ Mark Leiter.
Stanton wasn’t the only one to collect a milestone hit during the Marlins’ win, either. Nolan Arenado took Jose Urena deep with a two-run shot in the third inning, plating Charlie Blackmon for his 100th RBI of the season. He’s the first player to reach 100 RBI in 2017 and has now collected at least 100 RBI in each of his last three seasons.
The Marlins completed their rally with a J.T. Realmuto sac fly, Derek Dietrich RBI single and Tomas Telis two-run triple, earning their 54th win of the year and scooting the Rockies a full 16.5 games back of the NL West-leading Dodgers. They currently rank second in the NL East, but sit 14.5 games behind the Nationals and an even 10 games back of a wild card berth.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.
Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.
Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.
After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”
Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”
As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.