Giancarlo Stanton didn’t homer in eight consecutive games like his manager Don Mattingly did 30 years ago.
Stanton’s streak ended a couple of games short of the major-league record Wednesday afternoon in an 8-1 Marlins win over the Giants.
Stanton is still on pace to challenge some of baseball’s most prestigious home run marks - including a number he feels to be the most meaningful home run record.
“When you grow up watching all the old films of Babe Ruth and [Mickey] Mantle and those guys, 61 has always been that printed number as a kid,” Stanton said.
Stanton, who has a career-best 44 home runs this season, is on pace to hit 60 this season, which would match the total Babe Ruth hit in 1927 and Roger Maris surpassed with 61 in 1961.
Stanton said he considers the Ruth record tainted because it came at a time when baseball had not yet been integrated.
He also said he feels the same for different reasons about the single-season record 73 set by Barry Bonds in 2001.
Bonds, who was the Marlins’ hitting coach during the 2016 season, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, have the five next-highest home run totals in a season all-time after Bonds and since Maris. But those seasons have been considered by many to be tainted since they came in the late 1990s and early 2000s during baseball’s “steroid-era.”
“Considering some things I do,” Stanton said. “But at the same time it doesn’t matter. The record is the record. But personally I think I do.”
Stanton’s streak of consecutive games with a home run was the longest in the majors since Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado did it in September 2015.
Mattingly’s eight in a row came in 1987 with the Yankees, which matched by Dale Long’s streak in 1956 with the Pirates, and was later equaled by Ken Griffey Jr. in 1993 with the Mariners.
Stanton went 2 for 4 with two singles in five plate appearances Wednesday.
“What is it every year it seems like whenever someone is undefeated the Miami Dolphins celebrate [when they lose]?” Mattingly joked. “I’m not there.”
A seventh consecutive game would have tied Stanton with Kevin Mench (2006), Bonds (2004) and Jim Thome (2002).
Stanton’s first three at-bats came against Giants starter Matt Cain, who along with Mike Minor, Jonathon Niese and Tanner Roark, had given up the most home runs to Stanton in his career with four.
Stanton singled, stole a base and scored the Marlins’ first run of the game in his first at-bat. Cain hit him with a pitch in the second and got Stanton to hit a weak grounder back to him in the fourth.
Stanton grounded out against reliever Albert Suarez in the fifth and singled in the eighth against Josh Osich in his final at-bat.
“If I have good at-bats, it’s a good day for me,” Stanton said. “I ain’t going to hit a homer 45 games straight. It would have been cool to mess with [Mattingly] a little bit if I could do that. But I felt good. We won.”
▪ Tomas Telis posted his first three RBI game of the season. In his ninth career start at first base, Telis also turned an unassisted double play in the eighth in which he scrambled to first to double up Pablo Sandoval.
On the play, Telis blocked Sandoval’s path while on the ground before tagging the bag. Telis said his teammates Derek Dietrich and Miguel Rojas had a funny way of describing the play.
“The guys told me, ‘That was a Panda fight,’” said Telis referring to Sandoval’s nickname. “Because we have similar bodies.”
▪ Ichiro picked up his major-league leading 20th pinch-hit of the season with an RBI single in the fifth inning off Giants reliever Albert Suarez. Ichiro is one away from tying the club record set by Ross Gload in 2009.
▪ Jose Ureña improved to 11-5 this season, gave up one unearned run in five innings, struck out two, walked one and allowed seven hits.
Friday: Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino (1-1, 4.56 ERA) vs. New York Mets RHP Chris Flexen (2-1, 7.02), 7:10 p.m., Citi Field.