MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton is continuing to make his case for being a first-time All-Star selection.
The 22-year-old Miami Marlins slugger homered and drove in two runs in a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday."He's real capable of being an All-Star, he should be," Marlins closer Heath Bell said. "He's one of those guys that should be starting in a couple years. Maybe next year people start really seeing who he is and start voting him in."Stanton's estimated 424-foot shot in the first off Cole Hamels (10-4), his 18th homer, gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead."Wait a couple more years, this kid is going to be very dangerous," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said.Miami took a 2-1 lead on Stanton's RBI single in the third after Shane Victorino's sacrifice fly tied it in the second."You don't always need to hit it 400 feet to get an RBI," Stanton said.Rosters for the All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 10 will be announced Sunday.Marlins starter Mark Buehrle (7-8) pitched seven strong innings as he allowed two runs and seven hits. He struck out seven and walked one."(The Phillies) are a good team, they are getting guys back, which makes it scary," Buehrle said.Jose Reyes had two hits, stole two bases and scored twice for Miami."Every time Jose is on fire, he makes things happen," Guillen said. "This kid is our igniter."The Marlins' winning streak is their longest since sweeping a three-game series from Washington on May 28-30. They finished 8-18 in June after posting a 21-8 record in May."We need to put this month in the past and take July on," Stanton said.Hunter Pence homered and had three hits for the Phillies, who have lost four straight."I think we can turn things around, but at the same time we've got to play a hell of a lot better," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We have to play over .600 baseball the rest of the way. I've seen us hit some big streaks, so it's possible, but I think everybody has to get to get it going right now."Pence's solo home run in the seventh off Buehrle cut the deficit to 3-2, but Buehrle was able to finish the inning."Not too many people appreciate the way (Pence) plays," Guillen said. "He's a bad man against the Marlins. He can do everything."Mike Dunn pitched a perfect eighth before Bell came in to pitch the ninth. Bell allowed a one-out double to Carlos Ruiz before striking out Pence and getting Shane Victorino to ground out for his 16th save in 20 chances.Cole Hamels (10-4) fell to 0-3 against the Marlins this season. He gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings while striking out five."They've been a tough team to pitch against," Hamels said. "There's times I'm really able to control the pitch sequence and get them out, but when it gets into crunch time it's been tough to get the strikeouts or the double plays."The Marlins Park crowd of 31,311 saw the fastest home game of the season at 2 hours, 20 minutes.Reyes was the catalyst for the Marlins' third run as he led off the fifth with a single, then stole second and third base. Justin Ruggiano hit a sacrifice fly to deep center to score Reyes.
Phillies 2B Chase Utley is 5 for 13 in four games since making his season debut Wednesday following a knee injury. ... An X-ray revealed that Marlins RHP Edward Mujica had a fractured right small toe after taking a hard groundball from Placido Polanco in the seventh inning of Friday's 6-2 win. Mujica believes he will be back in two weeks. ... Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez hit a long home run during batting practice that hit the top of the Budweiser bar in deep left-center field and bounced through a narrow 5-foot gap between the sliding windows, which were being shut at the time of Ramirez's hit. ... The Miami Heat's Shane Battier took part in batting practice and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Chris Bosh was also in attendance. ... The Phillies will send RHP Joe Blanton (7-6, 4.87 ERA) to the mound in Sunday's series finale against RHP Ricky Nolasco (6-6, 4.78 ERA).
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 30: Shane Battier of the Miami Heat hugs First Base Coach Gary Thurman #25 of the Miami Marlins...
31,311 (83.7% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
Home Plate - Doug Eddings, First Base - Dana Demuth, Second Base - Angel Campos, Third Base - Paul Nauert
From Elias: Despite winning their final 3 games of the month, the Marlins finished June with an MLB worst 8-18 record.
After having the best record (21-8) in May, Miami becomes the 4th team in the last 50 seasons to have the best record in MLB one month and then the worst in the next month (excluding March and October).
The previous teams to do so - 1990 Twins (May and June), 1983 Rangers (June and July) and 1971 Cardinals (May and June).