There's no place like home, unless you're Marlins first baseman Jesús Aguilar. During Wednesday night's 3-2 win over the D-backs at Chase Field, Aguilar continued his torrid start away from South Florida by knocking his MLB-leading ninth homer on the road.
Aguilar, who has reached base safely in each of his 18 road contests this season after Thursday's 5-1 win, had gone deep in a career-high-tying three straight games for the second time in 2021. He also achieved that feat on Miami's previous three-city trip. Dating back to last season, Aguilar has reached base in 31 consecutive road games -- the longest streak of his career, and the longest active stretch in the Majors.
After Thursday's win, Aguilar's 2021 home-road splits remain drastic:
Home: 63 plate appearances, .226/.317/.302 line, 0 homers, 9 RBIs
Road: 80 plate appearances, .362/.438/.812 line, 9 homers, 23 RBIs
Of note: Ranks second in OPS (1.249) on the road.
But those numbers fell in line with his career stats entering Thursday:
Home: 809 PAs, .239/.313/.408 line, 28 HRs, 118 RBIs
Road: 850 PAs, .283/.364/.542 line, 51 HRs, 160 RBIs
"I don't have an answer for that," Aguilar said. "I just come here and try to do my best. I have been playing good on the road, maybe next week when we come back home I'm going to play good over there. It's just a game. Sometimes you feel good, and sometimes you don't, but you've got to stay positive."
Of late, Aguilar and left fielder Corey Dickerson (123 OPS+) have been taking batting practice on the field less and following a different pregame routine. Asked for details, Aguilar wouldn't divulge: "That's a secret, baby, I'm sorry."
Aguilar, whom the Marlins claimed off waivers in December 2019, has been the club's most reliable hitter since being acquired by Miami. In Wednesday's game, he turned on an inside sinker for a two-run homer off the left-field foul pole in the first inning, then beat the shift with a two-strike single on an outside slider in the third. Neither pitch was in the strike zone.
"I think Agui's just a good hitter, and I look at him as a big guy with a small swing," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's got good mechanics, he'll take what they're giving, has a pretty good feel for how they're pitching him and what they do. For me, he's always been a good hitter first, and then the power is there with it. But I look at him more as a good hitter than I do as a home run hitter. And I know he's hitting homers right now, but this guy handles the bat well, he uses the whole field, he has a good understanding, and it's really more of a complete package as a hitter than just a guy that's got power."
Saca tu banderas
Heritage Celebrations will return to loanDepot park for select Marlins games, with musical instruments, flags and more. Ticket packages include a themed Marlins hat or shirt, as well as a portion of the proceeds from each ticket benefiting a related charity organization. Live postgame entertainment will be presented by Truly Hard Seltzer.
The first Heritage Celebration will be on May 22, when the Marlins host the Mets for Cuban Heritage Celebration in recognition of Cuban Independence Day (May 20). For more information, visit Marlins.com/Heritage.
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Isan Díaz, who was removed from Wednesday's game as a precaution because he was feeling unwell and fatigued, was not in Thursday's lineup. Jon Berti got the start at second base. Díaz struck out swinging in a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth.