April 03, 2015

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) Giancarlo Stanton went deep one more time in Greensboro.

Stanton homered and the Miami Marlins beat their Single-A farm team in Greensboro 9-6 on Friday.

Stanton hit an opposite-field solo shot in the first inning. In his only season in the South Atlantic League, he set the Grasshoppers' record with 39 home runs in 2008.

''I'm ready to go - ready for the year,'' Stanton said.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia also homered for the Marlins, who led 6-0 in the fourth before taking out most of their starters.

Tom Koehler worked five innings, allowing three runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks in his final tuneup. Koehler is scheduled to start Wednesday in the third game of the season-opening series against Atlanta.

''He got up in the zone a little bit. I think it's been something he's kind of been fighting all spring,'' manager Mike Redmond said. ''Probably not his best outing but he got through it, and we'll go for real here in the next couple of days.''

K.J. Woods, the Marlins' 2013 fourth-round draft choice, homered twice and drove in five runs for Greensboro. He had a two-run shot in the fourth and an RBI single an inning later off Koehler, then a two-run drive in the ninth.

The first six pitchers used by Greensboro were actually Marlins relievers - and their teammates hit a few of them pretty hard.

Stanton sent the first pitch he saw from A.J. Ramos well over the wall in right-center.

''He threw the ball over the plate and I put a good swing on it,'' Stanton said. ''You can't really try to hit home runs or call them or whatever.''

Marcell Ozuna added an RBI single two batters later, and Saltalamacchia made it 3-0 in the second by driving a 3-2 pitch from Mike Dunn out to left.

The Marlins added three more runs off Bryan Morris in the fourth. Gordon singled and Adeiny Hechavarria came around from first after the ball bounced off center fielder Casey Soltis' glove for a two-base error.

Gordon then scored on Christian Yelich's chopper over first baseman Austen Smith, and Michael Morse's single two batters later brought in pinch-runner Yefri Perez for a six-run lead.


Before the game, the Marlins reassigned infielder Jordany Valdespin and catcher Jhonatan Solano to their minor league camp. Valdespin hit a team-best .378 this spring with four triples while Solano hit .467 in 15 at-bats during the spring.


The nucleus of this Marlins team - including the Stanton-Yelich-Ozuna outfield - came through Greensboro years ago as it made its way up the minor league progression.

Yelich - whose walk-off home run in the 15th inning of a 2011 playoff game is commemorated with a mural in a ballpark elevator - learned to play left field here.

And in one of those only-in-the-minors stories, Koehler's fondest memory of Greensboro came in 2009 when he milked a cow as part of Cow Appreciation Night.

''The first and last time I milked a cow,'' Koehler said, ''but I got to do it (at) home plate.''


Jack McKeon, who managed the Marlins to the 2003 World Series and remains an adviser to the organization, was on hand. The 84-year-old McKeon lives about 20 miles east of Greensboro in Elon, North Carolina.


The Grasshoppers wore special uniforms with ''We are the Future'' on the front in the same font used in the ''Back to the Future'' movie trilogy.


Marlins: Dan Haren makes his final exhibition start against the team's Double-A affiliate in Jacksonville on Saturday.

Grasshoppers: Greensboro opens the South Atlantic League season April 9 at Delmarva.


Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap

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