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JUPITER (CBSMiami/AP) — The Miami Marlins saw something on Wednesday that they had been waiting for since the end of last season.
Giancarlo Stanton homered for the first time since he was beaned last September, part of a three-hit game that helped the Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 5-4.
Stanton doubled in the first inning against Doug Fister, had an RBI single that made it 2-0 in the third and tied the score 3-3 when he homered leading off the sixth against Casey Janssen.
“Today was a good day, obviously,” said Stanton, who is hitting .286 with six RBIs in the exhibition season.
Stanton’s 2014 season ended Sept. 11 when he was hit on the face by a Mike Fiers fastball at Milwaukee. Stanton sustained facial fractures, dental damages, cuts that required stitches, two black eyes and concussion symptoms.
During the offseason, the Marlins gave him a record $325 million, 13-year contract.
“He looks great,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “He looks confident. His swings look good.”
Miami starter Mat Latos retired his first nine batters before allowing a pair of runs in the fourth when Dan Uggla hit a ground-rule RBI to right, stole third and scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s groundout.
“I felt good,” said Latos, who struck out three and threw 36 of 47 pitches for strikes. “I felt like I got in a groove early and got comfortable.”
Fister allowed two runs and six hits in four innings.
“I know that if I can command my sinker and make sure that I have that under control, everything else will fall into place,” Fister said. “That’s just something I need to work on right now.”
Clint Robinson homered on the first pitch of Sam Dyson in the fifth for a 3-2 lead.
Jhonatan Solano singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth.
Marlins: Home plate umpire Jerry Meals stopped Latos as he walked off the mound following his fourth and final inning to let him know his between inning warm-ups nearly exhausted the pace of play clock. “It’s a good thing to know, but when I go to the mound, I don’t normally just walk out there,” Latos said. “I jog out there get my work done and get ready for the inning.”
Nationals: Manager Matt Williams wanted Fister to bunt “regardless of situation” in his first spring training at-bat. Fister came to the plate with no one on and two out in the third and struck out.
Nationals: 2B Yunel Escobar, who has a left oblique strain, took swings off a tee and fielded ground balls at the Nationals’ spring training complex in Viera. Williams said Escobar could play in a minor league game next week. … OF Jayson Werth, recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, may play a minor league game in the coming days so that he can work on defense but not hit. … 3B Anthony Rendon experienced tightness when running on the treadmill on Tuesday, but his leg loosened as he warmed up. Williams said the club intended to push Rendon a little more on Wednesday to help him get over a left MCL strain.
Marlins: Optioned pitcher Andre Rienzo, catcher J.T. Realmuto and infielders Justin Bour, Derek Dietrich and Miguel Rojas to Triple-A New Orleans. The Marlins also reassigned pitcher Chris Narveson to minor league camp.
Nationals: Optioned pitcher A.J. Cole to Class Triple-A Syracuse.
New MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is to throw the ceremonial first pitch at Washington’s opener April 6 at home against the New York Mets.
Miami is to send Tom Koehler to the mound to face Manny Banuelos when the Marlins travel to Kissimmee to play Atlanta. Gio Gonzalez gets the ball for the Nationals when Detroit visits Viera to play Washington.
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