- Associated Press - Monday, May 19, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - Slugger Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t changed his opinion about spacious Marlins Park. He still considers it a pitcher’s park and dislikes the dimensions.

His Miami Marlins teammates are trying mightily to change his mind.

The Marlins begin a six-game homestand Tuesday against Philadelphia with a 17-5 home record, best in the majors. In a ballpark considered unfriendly to hitters, Miami is averaging 5.7 runs per game, second-best in the majors at home.

Stanton’s leading the way. He has found the distant fences annoying since the park opened in 2012, but he nonetheless has 31 RBIs at home, the most in the majors. In Miami he has seven homers, a .354 batting average and a 1.166 OPS.

However, Stanton still insists the Marlins’ home is a pitchers’ park.

“It is in terms of power, but this conversation is not relevant,” he said with a frown. “I don’t want to talk about complaining about the ballpark.”

That would be unseemly when the Marlins have outscored opponents 125-70 at home. The differential is especially eye-popping because they’ve been outscored 114-79 on the road, where their record is 6-17, worst in the majors.

They concluded another dismal trip Sunday, going 4-7 and losing ace Jose Fernandez to a season-ending elbow injury.

But they’ve been the mighty Marlins at home, which is a big change. In their first two seasons at Marlins Park, the home team averaged 3.6 runs per game, third-worst in the majors.

But they’ve altered their lineup and their approach at the plate. As a result, the Marlins’ home batting average is .296, second-best in the majors.

“It’s really extraordinary what they’re doing this year - a perfect example of how you’ve got to attack your home field,” New York Mets manager Terry Collins said.

With the distances to the wall 386 feet in left center, 398 in right center and 418 in center, Marlins hitters have stopped grousing and started driving the ball into the roomy power alleys.

They rank among the major-league leaders with 47 doubles and six triples at home.

“We knew it was going to be tough to hit home runs,” manager Mike Redmond said. “But we talked during spring training about leading the league in doubles and putting balls in the gaps. The field is so big you don’t have to hit home runs to do damage. You can hit triples and doubles, and you can go first to third on a single up the middle. You don’t have to swing for the fences. You can stay within yourself and still be rewarded.”

Even Stanton agrees. He has seen a lot of 400-foot flyouts since Marlins Park opened, but he has also watched his team score runs in bunches this year.

Story Continues →