Hit the road for two jacks, Realmuto

July 23rd, 2017

J.T. Realmuto, one of the rising young catching talents in the game, stands out anywhere he plays. But the 26-year-old has been especially productive on the road.

Realmuto belted a pair of two-run homers and added a double in the Marlins' 5-4 win over the Reds on Saturday night at Great American Ball Park.

"It's one of the more friendly parks out there, but you've got to go out there and have the same approach no matter where you're at, just try to put good hard contact with the ball," Realmuto said. "I was able to do that today."

After his 3-for-4 night, Realmuto raised his batting average on the road to .369 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs. On the season, he's hitting .305 with 10 home runs and 39 RBIs.

"He's getting better," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I think he feels like he's still working on his swing. That's going to get better. We see the way he throws. His blocking has improved tremendously from last year to now. He's going to be one of those guys."

Realmuto is one home run shy of his career high (11), set last year. He also had 10 home runs in 2015.

Yet, Realmuto's numbers on the road are substantially higher than at Marlins Park, where he has a slash line of .226/.293/.350 with three homers and 13 RBIs.

At hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, Realmuto enjoyed his second career multi-home run game. His first was on Sept. 8, 2015, against the Brewers.

Both of his shots came off Reds right-hander , and each gave the Marlins a lead.

In the sixth inning, Realmuto connected with on first base, and the homer put Miami in front for good, 5-3. The Reds had tied the score at 3 in the fifth, and Realmuto swung momentum back in the Marlins' favor with his scorched line drive that cleared the wall in left.

Statcast™ projected the laser at 391 feet with an exit velocity of 108.8 mph and a launch angle of 19 degrees. It took just 3.9 seconds to leave the park, and the ball seemed to travel on a rope. The apex of the homer was only 52 feet.

The 19-degree launch angle marked Realmuto's lowest tracked by Statcast™, and the exit speed was his second-hardest hit home run. His high was 109.8 mph on April 5 at Washington.

Realmuto's first homer was a two-run drive to left in the second inning, after Cincinnati grabbed a 2-1 lead. Statcast™ projected the home run at 396 feet with an exit speed of 105 mph.

"I thought I had some really close pitches -- especially that first homer that I gave up, I thought there was a really close one there," Stephenson said. "You know, I didn't get it. The next pitch … [homer]."