Atlanta 8, Miami 5
When: 3:10 PM ET, Sunday, October 1, 2017
Where: Marlins Park, Miami, Florida
Chris Segal, 1B -
Phil Cuzzi, 2B -
Tom Hallion, 3B -
MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton came out of the dugout and tipped his cap.
He tapped his heart and raised his right fist, saluting the fans.
Stanton had two singles and an RBI, but he failed to hit his 60th homer as his Miami Marlins lost to the Atlanta Braves 8-5 on Sunday in the regular-season finale at Marlins Park.
Stanton struck out twice and grounded to shortstop in his three empty at-bats. Still, he goes down in baseball history as just the sixth player to hit at least 59 homers in a season, joining Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.
In the ninth, after Stanton struck out on a high 0-2 slider by reliever Arodys Vizcaino, the fans showed their support. They chanted "MVP!" and that's when Stanton paid tribute right back.
"It was fun with the crowd," Stanton said. "It sums up my year, my appreciation for the fans and the fans' for me. It closes the book on 2017."
And what a year it was for Stanton, who led the majors in homers and RBIs (132).
Stanton said he was OK with 59 homers.
"If I hit 60, you guys would be sitting here asking me why I didn't hit 61," he said. "If hit 61, I would be asked why I didn't hit 62."
Stanton was also asked about the MVP race and about the Marlins' pending ownership change, due to be announced officially this week.
On the MVP race, Stanton said: "I know I have a legit chance. I gave it my all. Hopefully, I will benefit."
On the new ownership group, led by Bruce Sherman and former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Stanton pointed out that he has a no-trade clause in his contract. However, he acknowledged his frustration at the possibility of the dismantling of the rest of the team.
"Let's see what they've got," Stanton said of the new owners. "Let's see what the plan is and brainstorm from there."
And if they want to save payroll and tear the team apart?
"I wouldn't want to be here," Stanton said.
Other than the Stanton drama, the game was routine and anticlimactic. The biggest hit of the day was hit by Atlanta's Adonis Garcia, whose three-run, pinch-hit homer in the seventh gave the Braves an 8-4 lead.
"We all know he can hit," Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Garcia, who hit his fifth homer in 52 games this season. "He's fearless."
Garcia's blast helped the Braves (72-90) snap their six-game losing streak.
"It was good because we've been struggling," Snitker said. "A lot of good things happened today."
Miami's Marcell Ozuna went deep, his 37th homer of the season, and Atlanta's Kurt Suzuki had a two-run shot, his 19th.
Neither starting pitcher earned a decision. Miami's Jose Urena allowed three runs in five innings. Atlanta's Max Fried gave up four runs, two earned, in 4 1/3 innings.
Braves reliever Dan Winkler (1-1) earned his first major league win, pitching one scoreless inning. Marlins reliever Junichi Tazawa (3-5) took the defeat, allowing three runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Atlanta opened the scoring with three runs in the third inning. Suzuki hit his two-run shot, and Freddie Freeman, who tripled to the right field corner, scored on a Nick Markakis RBI groundout.
Miami took a 4-3 lead in the fourth, although only two runs were earned thanks to a throwing error on Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson. Stanton got an RBI single in the inning.
Swanson redeemed himself to some extent in the sixth. He hit a leadoff single, moved up on a walk and a sacrifice bunt before scoring the tying run on Ozzie Albies' groundout.
Atlanta took an 8-4 lead with four runs in the seventh. Swanson's RBI single gave Atlanta a 5-4 advantage, and Garcia's homer provided a cushion.
Ozuna's solo homer in the bottom of the seventh was a line drive to dead center, but it wasn't enough to rally the Marlins, who finished the year with a 77-85 record.
"I feel good about our effort," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said after the franchise's eighth straight losing season was in the books. "What was disappointing was the outcome."
NOTES: The Marlins announced their annual team awards with RF Giancarlo Stanton winning MVP, and LHP Jarlin Garcia getting Rookie of the Year. SS Miguel Rojas was given the "Good Guy" media award, and C J.T. Realmuto won the Conine Award for integrity and unselfish play. ... Braves 1B Freddie Freeman was named team MVP. His triple on Sunday was just his second of the year. ... Marlins LHP Wei-Yin Chen (elbow) will not need surgery and should be ready for spring training. ... Braves manager Brian Snitker enters the offseason uncertain about his future with the team. The team has an option to pick up his contract for another year or release him and look for a new manager.
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