6/17/2014 11:38 P.M. ET
Marlins, Cubs in awe of Stanton's liner of a homer
By Maria Torres and Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton seemingly defied the laws of physics with his opposite-field home run off Jason Hammel on Monday night.
In the first inning, the Marlins slugger blistered an opposite-field screamer that initially didn't appear to have enough height to clear the fence down the line in right field. Yet it did, and Stanton had a two-run homer in a game the Cubs pulled out, 5-4, in 13 innings.
The laser shot that kept going and going is the latest in the growing legend of Stanton's might.
"When a ball is hit, I'm like, 'Oh, yeah, it's gone,'" hitting coach Frank Menechino said. "It didn't enter my mind."
Jake Marisnick, who was on second base, thought it was a double down the line. He checked to see if the right fielder had a play and then sprinted toward third, only to be told by third-base coach Brett Butler to slow down.
"I was like, 'All right, he was not going to get to it,'" Marisnick said. "It was down the line. Next thing you know, I'm getting told to ease up, because it was out. I was thinking, either ball off the wall or ball down the line."
Hammel, who hung the breaking ball, was stunned the end result was Stanton's 19th home run.
"It was a line drive -- I just didn't think it had 400 feet of carry on it," Hammel said. "He's a strong boy."
According to ESPN Stats & Info, in terms of distance, it wasn't Stanton's farthest. Not by a long shot. It was estimated at 366 feet. Stanton's longest shot of the season is 484 feet, off San Diego's Eric Stults on April 4.
But that drive was pulled to left-center.
The speed off the bat for Stanton's blast off Hammel was calculated at 110.7 mph, ESPN Stats & Info estimated.
"That's the hardest ball I've ever seen hit," manager Mike Redmond said. "I watched Gary Sheffield hit a home run off Antonio Alfonseca at old Pro Player Stadium, down the left-field line. I thought that was the hardest ball at that point hit. But he pulled it."
As for Stanton on Monday, the thought was the ball would either hit the wall or bounce off it.
"I thought it might short-hop the wall, just because of the way it started out, on a line," Redmond said. "I was like, 'Oh, man, that's not high enough to get out.' It stayed on that plain and never lost any velocity. That was a 'wow!'"
Hechavarria showing signs of heating up
MIAMI -- Adeiny Hechavarria has run into a bit of tough luck in the last month, but his deep flyout to center field on Monday night against the Cubs was a sign of better things to come.
That showed on Tuesday against the Cubs, when he was penciled into the second spot of the batting order. Hechavarria took advantage of it, knocking four hits, one of them on a bunt single, in the Marlins' 6-5 win. The performance matched his career high of four hits on April 4 against the Padres. He raised his average 10 points to .272.
"I've talked about him and ultimately what I envision for Hech down the road hitting second," manager Mike Redmond said. "I think you saw that tonight and how exciting this guy can be if he's patient at the plate and gets good pitches to hit, he can do a lot of damage and he put together some great at-bats. It was fun to watch him out there."
Hechavarria's showing some signs of coming out of his June slump, if the last week is anything to go by. He has 12 hits in his last 34 at-bats. Entering Tuesday, he had a .290 OBP.
"I've felt good at the plate this week, working it down the middle, and I feel like I could get better if I keep doing that," Hechavarria said.
In the sixth inning of Monday's game, the Marlins shortstop thought he had gotten the better of a first-pitch fastball down the middle. He drove it so deep, he couldn't even tell that the ball had landed in Ryan Sweeney's glove without ricocheting off the scoreboard. Hechavarria got a sacrifice fly out of it, as Marcell Ozuna scored easily from third base, but it still wasn't enough for him.
"I was confused, because I thought it hit the wall, so I kept running like crazy," Hechavarria said.
The play was a good representation of Hechavarria's last 30 days.
On May 11, the shortstop was hitting .281 and getting on base 32 percent of the time. But in the month since, he's been struggling to even find a way on. He hit .239 with 18 strikeouts and just one extra-base hit entering Tuesday. His .248 on-base percentage was one of the lowest among Marlins players who have accumulated at least 50 plate appearances.
The 25-year-old had similar issues in June last year. In 25 games, Hechavarria went 22-for-94 and recorded just one extra-base hit. He was able to heat up a bit in July, hitting .324, but spent the second half hitting .211.
"I think last year I wanted to do too much, like to impress," the shortstop said. "I think that's one of the things that really affected me. I wanted to do too much, and you just can't do that here. You have to do what you're used to doing. I think that's one of the things that happened to me."
Dyson sent back down after first career win
MIAMI -- Sam Dyson recorded his first Major League win in the Marlins' 6-5 victory over the Cubs on Tuesday night at Marlins Park, but he couldn't relish it for too long. Immediately after the game, manager Mike Redmond called Dyson into his office to let him know he was being sent him back down to Triple-A New Orleans in order to make room for Nathan Eovaldi's return from paternity leave on Wednesday.
"I got him the game card, so he was pretty fired up about that," Redmond said. "But he didn't want to put it in his bag, so I said, 'Well, I'm gonna keep it for you then.'"
Dyson, ranked 14th among the Marlins' Top 20 prospects according to MLB.com, was recalled on Sunday to take Eovaldi's spot on the roster. Tuesday night was Dyson's first outing, and while he allowed an inherited run to score in the seventh, he threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out one.
At New Orleans this season, Dyson is 1-1 with a 2.66 ERA in 20 1/3 innings.
No rest for Marlins relievers since Fernandez's injury
MIAMI -- The last four days have wreaked havoc on the Marlins' bullpen. Thanks to three extra-inning games and back-to-back starts that lasted fewer than five innings, relievers have worked 23 1/3 innings.
"As you guys know, we've played a couple extra-inning games," manager Mike Redmond joked before the second game of the series against the Cubs on Tuesday. "So we definitely have some guys down there that we'd like to stay away from that have pitched a lot."
Some of the pitchers Redmond hopes to stay away from in Anthony DeSclafani's return to the big leagues on Tuesday were A.J. Ramos, Bryan Morris and Chris Hatcher, who have combined to throw 11 2/3 innings in recent days.
In the last 30 days, the bullpen has thrown 88 innings, while Marlins starters have thrown just 147, the third-fewest innings tossed in the Majors.
The pressure on the bullpen seemed to increase as soon as Jose Fernandez's season ended due to Tommy John surgery.
Since the ace's last start (May 9), the Marlins' bullpen has logged 116 2/3 innings. That's the fourth-highest amount of innings among any big league team. Only Cleveland (131 1/3), the New York Mets (130) and Baltimore (117 2/3) have thrown more in that span.
• Jarrod Saltalamacchia was scheduled to serve as the designated hitter in his second rehab game with Class A Advanced Jupiter on Tuesday night. On Monday, he caught eight innings in a road loss and went 2-for-4 in his first game action since May 31 against the Braves. The catcher will take Wednesday off and could make one or two more starts, depending on how he feels on Thursday.
• The Marlins have agreed to terms with fourth-round Draft pick Brian Schales ($490,000) and fifth-rounder Chris Soltis ($350,000). Schales, a shortstop, and Soltis, a center fielder, will start off in the Gulf Coast League in Jupiter.
Maria Torres is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.