Preview: Giancarlo Stanton continues chase to join 60-homer club in Game 2 vs. Braves

TV: FOX Sports Florida

TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.


MIAMI -- Don Mattingly of the Miami Marlins is as low-key a manager as any in the majors.

But even Donnie Baseball is caught up in Giancarlo Stanton's magical run toward 60 home runs.

On Thursday night, Stanton slugged two home runs to lead the Marlins to a 7-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. That gave Stanton a major-league-leading 59 homers with three games remaining in the season.

"It's impressive," Mattingly said. "He should be impressed. Those two balls he hit tonight were loud and quick. They were fun to watch. It's pretty amazing to me that somebody hits that many -- that's a lot of homers."

On Friday night, also against the Braves at Marlins Park, Stanton will go for 60 … and possibly beyond.

Only five men in the history of baseball have ever hit at least 60 homers in one season: Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.

"It's impossible not to think about it," Stanton said of his run toward a great baseball milestone. "But the more you think about it, the harder it's going to be, from my perspective."

Stanton, who talked to the media while wearing a sleeveless shirt -- his massive muscles accentuated -- seemed to be giving himself advice with some of his comments.

"Take the rest of the at-bats -- simplify it," he said. "If it happens, it happens. If not, it's not failure. I think I'll survive."

The bigger question will be if rookie Braves starter Luiz Gohara will survive Friday unscathed.

Gohara (1-3, 4.63 ERA) has been inconsistent. The 21-year-old Brazilian, who will be making just his fifth major league appearance and first against the Marlins, has already posted two quality starts. He allowed one run in six innings at the Washington Nationals, and he gave up one run in seven innings against the Philadelphia Phillies.

In his two other starts, he yielded a total of 10 runs in 10 1/3 innings.

His counterpart on Friday will be Marlins veteran Dan Straily (10-9, 4.08 ERA).

On Thursday, Mattingly praised Straily for never missing a turn this year -- Friday will mark the right-hander's career-high 33rd start of the season.

Straily hasn't been as good as last year, when he went 14-8 with a 3.76 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds.

However, the Marlins certainly appreciate Straily's durability, especially on an injury-prone staff. Straily usually pitches well against Atlanta, too. In four career starts against the Braves, he is 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA.

"He's made every start," Mattingly said of Straily. "He hasn't missed a turn. This hasn't been his best year, but he has kept us in a majority of his games."

The Marlins (75-84) and Braves (71-88) are playing out the string this weekend -- both teams were long ago eliminated from playoff contention.

Still, there are still some worthwhile individual accomplishments to chase.

Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has 58 multi-hit games, one short of his career high. He ranks in the top five in baseball this year in that category.

Braves right fielder Nick Markakis, meanwhile, needs one more double to reach 40 for the fifth time in his career.

All eyes, though, will be on Stanton on Friday night.