The ball launched Monday off the auxiliary scoreboard in left had the look and sound of some of the monster shots by the derby competitors last week, as if a batting practice lob served by his buddy Pat Shine.
This was hit off a fastball from Jerad Eickhoff for two-run homer in the first inning, and Stanton followed it up with a solo shot in the fifth off the Phillies right-hander to push his National League-leading total to 28.
With Justin Bour reprising his derby display with an upper-deck, two-run shot off Eickhoff, the Marlins’ slugging duo had the firepower for a victory that eluded them last week at Marlins Park, but this one a team effort, 6-5, in a series-opener against Philadelphia.
Still it took Dee Gordon to provide the decisive stroke for a walk-off win with a two-out single with the bases loaded off Mark Leiter, Jr., in the 10th inning after Derek Dietrich tripled with one out.
Reliever David Phelps escaped a one-out, bases loaded jam in the eighth with back-to-back strikeouts of Brock Stassi and Daniel Nava. He bounded off the mound with a fist pump after his full-count knuckle-curve froze pinch-hitter Nava.
Stanton’s pair of homers were what he needed in the final seconds of the first round of the derby when he came up a homer short of Gary Sanchez, 17-16, for an early exit in the contest Yankee slugger Aaron Judge went on to win at Marlins Park.
Bour also lost by a homer against Judge in the first round, 23-22.
Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler was happy to have these hit on his behalf. They took him off the hook after he gave up the lead supplied by Stanton’s first homer when the Phillies score four runs with two outs in the third.
Stanton’s first blast was Home Run Derby worthy, leaving the yard in a flash at 115 mph off the bat, according to MLBAM’s Statcast,…