Marlins-Rockies Preview

The Associated Press

Buried at the bottom of their respective divisions, the Miami Marlins and Colorado Rockies haven't had much to celebrate.

Despite the disappointment, slugger Giancarlo Stanton has given Marlins fans plenty to gush over.

After hitting another mammoth homer at Coors Field, Stanton hopes to continue his power surge in Denver on Saturday night.

Sitting 20 1/2 games out of first place in the NL East and 12 1/2 back in the wild-card race, Miami (54-66), which expected to contend this season, is already relegated to playing out the string. One of the few things to get excited about for the Marlins, though, has been witnessing the sheer power of Stanton.

After homering in Thursday's 5-3 series-opening loss, Stanton crushed a ball an estimated 474 feet in Friday's 6-5 win.

"It's the farthest one I've hit up here,'' he said. "When you play in a park like that you don't have to do too much to get it out.''

Stanton has now homered in each of his five career games at Coors Field to join Jeff Kent as the only visiting player to hit a home run in five consecutive games there.

Stanton's 23rd homer wasn't just long, though, it tied the score at 5 in the sixth. The Marlins went ahead later that inning on John Buck's run-scoring double lifting Miami to its second win in six games.

"This kid, every time he's at the plate he's in scoring position, especially this park,'' Ozzie Guillen said of Stanton, who is batting .306 with four home runs and eight RBIs in 10 games since missing a month recovering from right knee surgery.

Stanton will try to continue to take advantage of Denver's thin air against probable starter Tyler Chatwood (3-2, 4.28 ERA), who has surrendered three homers in 16 1-3 innings at Coors this year.

The Rockies (45-72), owner of the NL's second-worst record, had their four-game winning streak end Friday. They finished with 12 hits, but 11 were singles.

Eric Young Jr. accounted for two of those singles, and has hit safely in 10 of 11 games, batting .469 with three home runs, seven RBIs and 12 runs. He'll be getting his first look Saturday at Nathan Eovaldi (3-8, 4.28), who has repeatedly found himself pitching out of trouble.

Against Philadelphia on Monday, Eovaldi gave up eight hits and three walks in five innings, but was able to limit the damage, permitting three runs in a 4-0 loss. In three starts this month, the right-hander has surrendered 20 hits while walking 10 in 12 innings.

It was more of the same in his lone start of the season against the Rockies on June 3, when he allowed three runs, five hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings of a 3-2 loss for the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors.

Eovaldi won't have to face slugger Carlos Gonzalez, who was placed on the bereavement list Saturday after the death of his grandfather in Venezuela. Gonzalez won't be eligible to rejoin the Rockies until Tuesday's game in New York.

His absence could hurt the support given to Chatwood, who has a 0.82 ERA in winning his last two starts after a shaky first one Aug. 5 in a loss to San Francisco. Against Milwaukee on Tuesday, the righty gave up two runs and four hits in six innings of an 8-6 final.

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