The Marlins’ Mike Stanton is a beast, but he’s been a sidelined beast this spring, battling a leg injury. He made his spring debut yesterday, however, and he murdered baseballs:
Stanton not only left his indelible mark on the scoreboard — a tape-measure line-drive shot that traveled an estimated 500 feet — but also the Boston Red Sox and a sellout crowd at Roger Dean Stadium.
Stanton smashed two home runs on the afternoon, and when he was lifted for a pinch runner after knocking in his seventh run of the afternoon with a sharp single to center, many in the pro-Red Sox crowd gave him a standing ovation.
Because he’s a Marlin he doesn’t get as much press as guys like Jason Heyward or Buster Posey, but in many ways, there may not have been a more auspicious debt last season than Mike Stanton’s, even if a lot of people didn’t realize it at the time. He may take some time to figure out the strike zone — he struck out 123 times in 100 games last year — but lord have mercy does that young man have power.
The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.