Home News Marcell Ozuna hits grand slam, 200th home run in 15th multihomer game

Marcell Ozuna hits grand slam, 200th home run in 15th multihomer game

by admin

MIAMI — Sometimes, a change in venue and time with family is all it takes for a player to find their groove.

For Marcell Ozuna, whose family lives in Miami and who spent the first five years of his career with the Marlins — and who has a career .293 average against Miami — some South Florida air seemed to make all the difference.

“It’s the former team card,” manager Brian Snitker said of Ozuna’s success vs. the Marlins. “I’m glad, good for him. I mean, he continued to work. He’s had a great attitude, [things haven’t gone] the way he really wanted things to, but he’s not cashing his chips in, that’s for sure.

Ozuna entered the series opener vs. the Marlins on Tuesday at loanDepot park with an .085 average through 18 games. He singled twice and walked once in the opener, improving his average to .111.

But the real breakthrough came in Wednesday’s 14-6 Braves win, in which Ozuna homered twice — including a second-inning grand slam — and singled. Over the course of two games, the designated hitter doubled his hit total.

“We didn’t play him in the doubleheader [Monday against the Mets],” Snitker said. “So I wanted to get him back in there, and he had some really good at-bats off Sandy [Alcantara on Tuesday], and then tonight, [he was] really good. We’ll run him out there again tomorrow. I mean, if he’s gonna get hot and — you know what, you get hot and hit, you’re gonna play.”

And play Ozuna did. It started with the grand slam. With the bases loaded and no outs, Ozuna yanked a first-pitch slider 434 feet to left field. It was going out as soon as it left his bat, and he stood back and admired it as it soared over the home bullpen, over the seats in left field and over the concourse. Then, he made his way around the bases.

“We all go through these things,” Ronald Acuña Jr. said via interpreter Franco Garcia. “Things happen, right? And he just happened to be going through a bad stretch. And you know, what I told him, ‘Keep your head up, keep believing.’ And now we’re seeing — we’re seeing what he’s capable of.”

The slam was the Braves’ first this season and the seventh of Ozuna’s career. But he wasn’t finished. Leading off the third inning, Ozuna ripped the second pitch he saw, a curveball, into the Marlins bullpen down the left-field line. It was his 200th career home run and his 15th career multihomer game. Ozuna’s homers were just two of six the Braves hit: Michael Harris II, Austin Riley, Acuña and Ozzie Albies each went yard as well.

“I never [thought] I’d hit more than two [home runs],” Ozuna said, laughing, “… I have two more years, this year and next year, and then see if someone gives me the opportunity — or maybe this team gives me the opportunity — and try to keep going to 300. [In] three years, I feel like I can do it.”

Ozuna went from being booed at home in Atlanta last week to getting cheered as a visitor in Miami. And it makes sense. For him, spending time with his family and getting to make his children — who were in attendance on Wednesday night — proud, that arguably means more than breaking out of a slump.

“Last two years, I’ve been struggling,” Ozuna said. “I have an issue with my family. I have an issue outside the field, and then like, a lot of distractions outside the field. And then my mind don’t feel right. So right now, I’m feeling good and I’m right in a way and good with my family and good with my team, and I’m good with everyone outside. So I’m being [more] chilled out. …

“[Sometimes] I try to do too much, I try to show how — most important for me is to give the best to my team and my teammates and the coaches. And the fans. They pay for — to see me, so sometimes I feel a bit embarrassed and try to do too much, try to show them what talent I have. I just have to relax, enjoy my game and swing the bat. That’s the only way you can be good, swinging the bat.”

Source Link

You may also like

Leave a Comment