MIAMI -- Slugger Giancarlo Stanton hasnt changed his opinion about spacious Marlins Park. He still considers it a pitchers park and dislikes the dimensions. His Miami Marlins teammates are trying mightily to change his mind. The Marlins begin a six-game homestand Tuesday against Philadelphia with a 17-5 home record, best in the majors. In a ballpark considered unfriendly to hitters, Miami is averaging 5.7 runs per game, second-best in the majors at home. Stantons leading the way. He has found the distant fences annoying since the park opened in 2012, but he nonetheless has 31 RBIs at home, the most in the majors. In Miami he has seven homers, a .354 batting average and a 1.166 OPS. However, Stanton still insists the Marlins home is a pitchers park. "It is in terms of power, but this conversation is not relevant," he said with a frown. "I dont want to talk about complaining about the ballpark." That would be unseemly when the Marlins have outscored opponents 125-70 at home. The differential is especially eye-popping because theyve been outscored 114-79 on the road, where their record is 6-17, worst in the majors. They concluded another dismal trip Sunday, going 4-7 and losing ace Jose Fernandez to a season-ending elbow injury. But theyve been the mighty Marlins at home, which is a big change. In their first two seasons at Marlins Park, the home team averaged 3.6 runs per game, third-worst in the majors. But theyve altered their lineup and their approach at the plate. As a result, the Marlins home batting average is .296, second-best in the majors. "Its really extraordinary what theyre doing this year -- a perfect example of how youve got to attack your home field," New York Mets manager Terry Collins said. With the distances to the wall 386 feet in left centre, 398 in right centre and 418 in centre, Marlins hitters have stopped grousing and started driving the ball into the roomy power alleys. They rank among the major-league leaders with 47 doubles and six triples at home. "We knew it was going to be tough to hit home runs," manager Mike Redmond said. "But we talked during spring training about leading the league in doubles and putting balls in the gaps. The field is so big you dont have to hit home runs to do damage. You can hit triples and doubles, and you can go first to third on a single up the middle. You dont have to swing for the fences. You can stay within yourself and still be rewarded." Even Stanton agrees. He has seen a lot of 400-foot flyouts since Marlins Park opened, but he has also watched his team score runs in bunches this year. "Youre not going to win by hitting homers here," Stanton said. "But if you understand that the guy on first is in scoring position, thats going to work to our advantage. On a normal double, here you can score from first standing up a lot of the time. We understand that and are taking advantage of it." The Marlins tailored their lineup to the ballpark last off-season by acquiring left-handed hitter Garrett Jones and switch-hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Both have homered into the upper deck in right field, where the stands are most reachable. "The easier way to hit home runs in this ballpark is for a left-handed hitter, so we did try to bring in some left-handed power," Redmond said. Miami also signed Casey McGehee, a right-handed hitter who bats mostly cleanup. He has only one homer but is hitting .422 with runners in scoring position. "Theyve done here of using the field to hit all sorts of different ways -- a drag bunt, balls hit up the middle," Collins said. "Youve got to tip your hat that theyve made those adjustments. This is a tough park to hit in. What theyve done is found guys who put the ball in play and are difficult to defence." Other opponents agree, but some also speculate about hidden reasons for the way the Marlins hit in their home park. When Miami scored 23 runs to sweep a three-game series at home against Atlanta last month, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez jokingly wondered if the Marlins had a spy in the outfield tipping their hitters on pitches. "We got in their heads a little bit," Redmond said. Its good to have visiting teams scratching their heads. And for the Marlins, who are above .500 despite their woeful road record, its good to be home. (SportsNetwork.com) - Zack Greinke aims to become just baseballs second nine-game winner this season as the Los Angeles Dodgers wrap a four-game series on Sunday afternoon with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tune in to all the action live on TSN2 beginning at 8pm et/5pm pt. Greinke carried a Major League-record string of 22 straight starts without allowing more than two earned runs into his last outing on Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds. Though that streak was halted, Greinke still won his third decision in a row thanks to a positive 6-3 outcome. The right-hander was charged with three runs on eight hits over 7 2/3 innings, matching a season high with 11 strikeouts while not issuing a walk. It marked the first time Greinke allowed more than two earned runs in a start since July 25, but he still improved to 8-1 with a 2.18 earned run average. He is tied with St. Louis Adam Wainwright for the most victories in the NL this season and one back of Torontos Mark Buehrle for the most in baseball. Greinke, 30, is 5-2 with a 5.29 ERA lifetime against the Pirates, who counter with Edinson Volquez. Volquez is 2-3 with a 2.86 ERA in seven previous meetings with the Dodgers and spent a brief stint with the club last season. Acquired from the San Diego Padres midseason, the righty went 0-2 with a 4.18 ERA in six games (5 starts) with Los Angeles. Volquez picked up his second win of the season with a solid outing on May 22 versus Washington, but struggled with his command on Tuesday aagainst the New York Mets in a no-decision.dddddddddddd. The 30-year-old yielded four hits and a walked a season-high five batters over five innings, but did limit the damage to just two runs. "It was a challenge for (Volquez) but he kept us in the game," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said of his starter. Volquez is 2-4 on the year with a 4.30 ERA and will try to cool off the Dodgers bats. Los Angeles saw its offense erupt on Saturday for a 12-2 win, thanks in large part to Hanley Ramirez. He went 4-for-4 at the plate and hit a pair of homers while matching career highs with five RBI and four runs scored. "Hanley has found something and I hope it continues. Everything fell our way today," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Matt Kemp, Justin Turner and Drew Butera each drove in two runs for the Dodgers, who snapped a three-game losing skid. After flirting with a no-hitter in his last start, Hyun-Jin Ryu yielded two runs on 10 hits over six solid innings to earn the win. In the worst outing of his young career, Brandon Cumpton was tagged for 11 runs -- 10 earned -- on 11 hits and two walks over just 3 2/3 innings. "His (Cumpton) fastball command wasnt what weve seen from him in the past. It was a bad day for him," said Hurdle. Jose Tabata collected three hits and Jordy Mercer had an RBI for Pittsburgh, which had snapped a nine-game slide in Los Angeles by winning the first two games of this series. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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