Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins sweep Rockies

Colorado (65-52) and Arizona entered Sunday tied for the National League Wild Card lead, but the Rockies never got on track in the series, scoring nine total runs. Odrisamer Despaigne threw a perfect ninth inning for his first Major League save.

The Rockies received a scare in the fifth inning when All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado exited after being struck on the left hand by a Vance Worley pitch. X-rays came back negative with a left hand contusion.

Stanton has become a must-see attraction, as the slugger has now homered in four straight games, nine of 10 and has belted 21 in 33 games. In August, he has connected nine times in 12 contests.

Rockies right-hander German Marquez gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings, taking his first loss since June 26, snapping a string of four straight winning decisions.

Rally squashed: Down 5-3, the Rockies had a chance to rally in the fifth inning, after a leadoff HBP to Arenado and a ground-rule double by Gerardo Parra. With second and third and no outs, Javy Guerra relieved Worley and picked up the biggest outs of the game. The right-hander struck out Carlos Gonzalez and retired Pat Valaika on a popup to second. After rookie Ryan McMahon walked to load the bases, Ryan Hanigan tapped to second for the third out. Guerra struck out two in a clean sixth inning to collect his first Major League victory since Sept. 8 2014, while he was with the White Sox against the A’s.

Turning the tables: First time around, Aviles went down swinging with two on in the second inning. In the fourth, it was a different story for Miami’s second baseman, who got the start because Dee Gordon was given the day off. Aviles delivered a two-run double off Marquez that put the Marlins in front, 5-3.

Stanton has reached 250 home runs in 941 games, making him the sixth-fastest player (in terms of games played) to reach that marker. According to Stats Inc., the other five players to reach the mark since 1913 in fewer games are Ryan Howard (855), Ralph Kiner (871), Harmon Killebrew (905), Albert Pujols (933) and Juan Gonzalez (936).

A run was in the balance when the Marlins challenged a safe call at first base on what initially was ruled an RBI fielder’s choice for McMahon. But Miami asked for a review, and the call was overturned, resulting in an inning-ending double play.

The Rockies scored three runs in the third inning, and nearly had a fourth. With runners on first and third, McMahon grounded to first. Tomas Telis went to second for the forceout and Miguel Rojas returned a strong throw to Worley covering the base as McMahon was arriving. It was initially ruled that Worley’s foot wasn’t on the bag before McMahon’s.

Rockies: Chad Bettis will complete his comeback from testicular cancer surgery last November and toe the rubber for the first time this year. The Rockies open a four-game set at home against Julio Teheran (7-10, 5.25 ERA) and the Braves at 6:40 p.m. MT on Monday.

Marlins: The Marlins open a three-game series with the Giants, a team they swept in three games in San Francisco leading into the All-Star break, at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday. The pitching matchup will be a couple of left-handers: Adam Conley (4-5, 5.43 ERA) goes for Miami, with Ty Blach (8-7, 4.15 ERA) throwing for San Francisco.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for based in Miami and covered the Rockies on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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