Best of MLB: Giancarlo Stanton hits homers Nos. 48, 49 in Marlins' comeback

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Best of MLB: Giancarlo Stanton hits homers Nos. 48, 49 in Marlins' comeback

MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton homered twice Friday, increasing his major league-leading total to 49, and tied a career high with five RBIs to help the Miami Marlins climb above .500 for the first time since April by beating San Diego 8-6.

Marcell Ozuna hit a three-run homer, his 30th, to put Miami ahead to stay in the seventh inning.

Stanton has nine multi-homer games this season, the most in the majors since Jose Bautista had nine with Toronto in 2010. Stanton's home run total is the highest in the National League since Prince Fielder hit 50 for Milwaukee in 2007 -- and the Marlins still have 35 games to play.

Stanton is on pace to finish with 63 homers. He increased his RBI total to 105, tying his career high.

Led by their All-Star right fielder, the Marlins (64-63) have recovered from a 14-27 start to join the NL wild-card chase (see full recap).

Orioles power past sloppy Red Sox
BOSTON -- Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis had home runs, and the Baltimore Orioles used a seven-run fifth inning to power past the Boston Red Sox 16-3 on Friday night.

The 16 runs is a season-high for the Orioles, who have won three out their last four as they try to stay in the mix for one of the American League's wild-card spots. Trey Mancini led Baltimore with four RBIs.

Jeremy Hellickson (8-7) allowed four hits and three runs over seven innings to pick up his second win in an Orioles uniform.

With the loss Rick Porcello (8-15) snapped a string of four straight wins, surrendering a career-high 11 runs off nine hits before getting pulled in the fifth.

Boston's defense also struggled, committing a season-high five errors (see full recap).

Alonso HR in 11th lifts Mariners over Yanks
NEW YORK -- Yonder Alonso homered on a 100 mph fastball from demoted closer Aroldis Chapman in the 11th inning, and the Seattle Mariners outpitched the New York Yankees for a 2-1 victory Friday night.

Mike Zunino homered and had three hits for the Mariners, right in the middle of a crowded race for the second AL wild card. They used seven pitchers to hold down the Yankees, who lead the wild-card chase but trail first-place Boston by 4 1/2 games in the AL East.

Alonso entered as a pinch hitter in the ninth and sent a drive to center field with two outs in the 11th against Chapman (4-3), the $86 million reliever who recently lost his job as closer. The struggling lefty was booed again as he walked off the mound after the inning.

Acquired from Oakland this month, Alonso became the third left-handed batter to homer against Chapman in his eight-year career. Just 12 days before, 20-year-old Boston rookie Rafael Devers became the second.

James Pazos (4-4) tossed a perfect inning against his former team and Edwin Diaz got three outs for his 30th save (see full recap).

Questions Phillies face as spring training nears its end

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Questions Phillies face as spring training nears its end

BRADENTON, Fla. — Less than a week before opening day, there are still a number of unanswered questions surrounding the Phillies.

About the only thing known for sure is that Aaron Nola will start Thursday in Atlanta. The right-hander made his final spring tune-up Friday afternoon against the Pirates.

Some of the questions that need to be answered before the Phillies pack up and leave Florida on Tuesday include:

• When will Jake Arrieta join the rotation? Will it be April 2, 3 or 4 in New York? Will it be during the team’s first homestand, possibly April 7? Arrieta threw 31 pitches in his first spring start Thursday. A bullpen session over the weekend and his next start, likely 50 or so pitches on Tuesday, will offer team officials a better idea on when he’ll be ready.

• Who else will be in the rotation? Nothing has been announced, but Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta appear to be locks with Nola and eventually Arrieta. Zach Eflin could be the fifth starter, if the Phils use one the first time through the rotation. He could also piggyback with Arrieta in New York if the Phils wanted to get Arrieta going that early. Ben Lively and Drew Hutchison remain candidates to make the club as the fifth starter, should the Phils use one during the first 10 days of the season.

• Who's in the bullpen? Hector Neris, Pat Neshek, Tommy Hunter, Luis Garcia and Adam Morgan are locks. That likely leaves three openings. One spot will likely go to a lefty, Hoby Milner or Zac Curtis. Right-handers Edubray Ramos and Victor Arano seem to be vying for one spot and the final one could go to Lively or Hutchison. They are both stretched out and could provide the bullpen length that injured Mark Leiter Jr. would have.

• How about bullpen roles? Manager Gabe Kapler is not one to speak in absolutes. He is loath to define roles in his bullpen or batting order. He’s keeping options open and could assign roles on a nightly basis based on matchups and research that the team’s growing analytics department digs up. Neris went 20 for 20 in save chances while giving up just three runs in 19⅔ innings after June 27 last season. Logic would dictate that he'd be the closer. But will he be every night? Will Kapler use him in a matchup situation in the seventh inning some night? Time will tell. Same for batting order construction.

• Who will be on the bench? Infielder/outfielder Pedro Florimon has played well and looks like a lock. That leaves one or two openings, depending on how many pitchers the Phils open with. Veterans Ryan Flaherty and Adam Rosales were both granted their release. That leaves Jesmuel Valentin and Roman Quinn, both 40-man roster guys, as the two lead candidates. There might be room for both, depending on how many pitchers the Phils open with. It also would not be shocking to see the team send Quinn to Triple A to get more playing time. The Phils appear to be leaning toward carrying Andrew Knapp as their second catcher over Cameron Rupp, who has a minor-league option remaining.

Rhys Hoskins' home run over-under is pretty low

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Rhys Hoskins' home run over-under is pretty low

If you're a believer in Rhys Hoskins, there is some money to be made.

Gambling site Bovada released a slew of player prop bets for the 2018 MLB season and Hoskins was the lone Phillie represented.

Hoskins' over-under totals are 28.5 home runs and 90.5 RBIs.

It's safe to assume more will bet the home run over than the under. Hoskins hit 18 homers in just 50 games and 212 plate appearances last season. That's a full-season pace of 56 home runs.

Now, that doesn't mean Hoskins is going to hit 50 this season, or even 40. The league now knows about him. Pitchers will have more of a game plan than they did when Hoskins was cranking jacks at an insane rate last August and September.

It's worth noting that Hoskins did slow down in the season's final two weeks, hitting just .135 with no homers and nine RBIs in his last 16 games.

But based on his raw power and the unique ability to work deep counts and draw walks, Hoskins will get himself into many hitter-friendly counts this season and throughout his career. He's a safe bet for 25-plus homers, and if I was forced to make picks I'd go over for both homers and RBIs. 

Hoskins will have plenty of RBI opportunities with guys like Carlos Santana, Odubel Herrera, J.P. Crawford and eventually Scott Kingery batting before him.