Preview: Marlins welcome Justin Nicolino back in Game 2 vs. Rockies

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MIAMI — The new Miami Marlins, identified on Friday, must be happy with one part of their purchase in particular — Giancarlo Stanton.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly talked about Stanton after Friday’s 6-3 win over the Colorado Rockies but didn’t know what to say, in essence, when asked about the sale of the team, which is still unofficial.

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“I read like everyone else,” Mattingly said, “and you guys have given me information. But it’s hard to talk about the whole situation because I have not been informed by anyone above me.”

The ownership group, led by venture capitalist Bruce Sherman and former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, reportedly made the deal to buy out Jeffrey Loria, a transaction that burned up the Internet on Friday afternoon.

Later that night, Stanton hit his 40th homer of the season — which leads the majors and certainly gives those owners hope that he can soon be the centerpiece of a championship team.

For the moment, the Marlins (54-60) are out of playoff contention, even after rallying to defeat the Rockies on Friday night.

The Rockies (65-50) will try to take the second game of the series on Saturday night.

Colorado will once again be led by Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado, an All-Star who leads the majors with 100 RBIs and 66 extra-base hits.

“He’s having a great year,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of Arenado, who hit his 26th homer on Friday. “He is one of the best players in the game. There’s a consistency to his game.”

Miami will start left-hander Justin Nicolino (0-1, 5.31 ERA) on Saturday, which will be his first career appearance against Colorado.

Nicolino will make his seventh appearance with the Marlins this year, including his sixth start. NIcolino has had various chances in the past three years to grab a rotation job, but he has failed each time. His career record is 8-11 with a 4.61 ERA.

Colorado will counter with right-hander Jeff Hoffman (6-3, 5.03 ERA), who will make his first career start against the Marlins. He has been better on the road than at home this season. Away from the high altitude in Colorado, he is 4-1 with a 3.65 ERA in six starts.

Hoffman will face a difficult Marlins lineup that has clicked since Stanton was moved to second in the batting order on May 23. Since that date, Stanton is batting .290 with 29 homers and 56 RBIs in 67 starts.

In addition to Arenado, Colorado’s offense is powered by center fielder Charlie Blackmon, who leads the majors in runs (103), triples (13), multi-hit games (50) and total bases (289).

He also leads the NL with 155 hits.

Blackmon ranks second in the NL with 65 extra-base hits, trailing Arenado by one.

In baseball history, teammates have finished 1-2 in the majors in extra-base hits just three times: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1926 and 1927, and Tony Armas and Dwight Evans for the 1984 Boston Red Sox.

RWC News Preview: Marlins welcome Justin Nicolino back in Game 2 vs. Rockies  RWC News Preview: Marlins welcome Justin Nicolino back in Game 2 vs. Rockies  RWC News Preview: Marlins welcome Justin Nicolino back in Game 2 vs. Rockies

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Reppig Ethrofeno
RWC Sports Reporter

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