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Watch: Giancarlo Stanton clubs his 40th home run

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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.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.