MIAMI (AP) – Giancarlo Stanton displays his power so frequently that Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond doesn’t even bat an eye during flight of one of Stanton’s tape-measure home runs.
Miami also is getting pretty used to winning at home.
Stanton, the National League’s leader in homers and RBIs, looks to stay hot against New York Mets starter Jonathon Niese and help the Marlins improve on the majors’ best home record Monday night.
Miami (16-15) has made up for its dismal 2-10 road mark by going 14-5 at Marlins Park, winning there for the eighth time in nine games with Sunday’s 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jeff Baker’s RBI double with two outs in the ninth scored Adeiny Hechavarria with the winning run.
“We have a comfort level here,” Redmond said. “We seem to play with so much confidence in this ballpark, and you could just feel the energy.”
That sentiment especially applies to Stanton, who hit a towering two-run homer in the first and added a line-drive solo shot in the sixth. He’s hitting .342 with seven of his 10 homers and 29 of his 36 RBIs at home, compared to just a .200 average on the road.
“It’s almost like you sort of get used to it, which is crazy,” Redmond said. “The second one was like a 54-degree wedge you want to keep down in the wind. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a baseball hit that hard on a line.”
Stanton went 2 for 12 as the Mets (16-14) took two of three from the Marlins in New York from April 25-27, and he’s hitting just .125 over his last 13 against them.
Stanton, though, is 7 for 18 with two homers off Niese, who will look to continue his solid run in the opener of this set.
Niese (2-2, 2.20 ERA) gave up one run and four hits in seven innings of a 6-1 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday, and he’s allowed one run in each of his last three starts while pitching at least six innings.
“You have to be pretty impressed with the way he’s going about it,” manager Terry Collins said. “He used all of his pitches. It seemed like he had good command of his curveball. He went out and pitched another great game.”
Niese has worked into the sixth in 12 of his 13 starts against the Marlins and went 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in three outings against them last season.
The left-hander will look to help New York win back-to-back games after it avoided a four-game sweep with Sunday’s 5-1 win over Colorado.
Juan Lagares, who was scheduled to have the day off before Eric Young Jr. was hit below the right eye with an errant ball in batting practice, went 3 for 5 to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games.
Nathan Eovaldi will look to help put an end to that run as he takes the mound for the Marlins in this contest.
Eovaldi (2-1, 2.58) has been stellar over his last three outings, going 1-0 with a 0.95 ERA. He gave up one run and three hits through seven innings of Wednesday’s 9-3 win over Atlanta, as the offense matched his run support total from his previous three starts.
“I just attack and stay on them,” Eovaldi said. “When we have a big lead, don’t be afraid to give up a run or two. Keep pounding the strike zone.”
The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA in his last three starts against the Mets, but he’s had trouble throwing strikes while walking 12 in 18 innings during that stretch.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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