PORT ST. LUCIE (AP) — After a long drive went just foul, Giancarlo Stanton was determined to at least swing hard.
He ended up driving a two-run homer off the top of the fence of a practice field behind Tradition Field.
“I see I’ve done it and other players do it — you hit a ball like that foul and then you call it a day for the at-bat,” Stanton said after the Miami Marlins beat the New York Mets 11-1 Monday. “It was just to make sure I wasn’t, ‘Hey, I hit a home run foul, good for me.'”
Miami’s Christian Yelich was leaning on the railing in the dugout and raised his arms over his head in celebration as soon as Stanton made contact.
“With two strikes, you’re going to be somewhat more aggressive,” Stanton said. “They were pretty hard swings. They’re not two-strike swings, but on a lefty when you see it — trust that you saw it well — you can take stronger swings.”
Reed Johnson went 5 for 5 for the Marlins and scored two runs. Ed Lucas was 2 for 4 with a two-run triple and scored a run.
Mets starter Bartolo Colon made his exhibition season debut and allowed three runs in four innings. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out one.
Colon, who signed two a $20 million, two-year deal in the offseason, was sidelined by a minor calf injury early in camp.
“It was meaningful,” Colon said through an interpreter. “I was happy that I was able to locate my pitches and pitch well.”
Marlins starter Brad Hand loaded the bases at the start of the game, then struck out his next five batters.
“It helps,” Hand said of the strikeouts, “but it’s the not the way you want to start a game.”
Hand finished with three scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and walked one.
WISH THEY HAD REPLAY
Mets manager Terry Collins joked that even if instant replay had been available, he would have been out of challenges early in the game.
Colon twice attempted to pick off Jake Marisnick at first base in the second inning and appeared to get him both times, but first base umpire Jerry Meals called him safe each time. Television replays showed Colon successfully picked him off on both attempts. Later that inning, Meals called Johnson safe on an infield single although replays showed he was out.
Collins did quietly argue a Meals call in the fourth inning after another close play at first. Replays showed Johnson was safe.
“I told the umpire, right now I would be out of challenges,” Collins said. “He said, ‘Yeah, there was a lot of close plays today.”
The Mets beat the Marlins 8-0 in a “B” game. Mets starter Dillon Gee threw four scoreless innings, allowed two hits and struck out three.
“That might have been as good as I’ve seen Dillon Gee,” Collins said. “He was 92, 93 this morning with great command.”
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