Ozuna's clout caps Cards' thunderous start
Outfielder hits first Cardinals homer 479 feet after Fowler, Pham open with consecutive blasts
MILWAUKEE -- William Fowler and Tommy Pham immediately went long ball, and Marcell Ozuna went even longer, but the Cardinals' early home run barrage was wasted when the Brewers rallied for a 5-4 victory with a pair of two-out solo homers in the ninth inning.
At Miller Park on Tuesday night, Fowler ripped Chase Anderson's first pitch over the wall in right-center for his first home run of the season and 24th career leadoff homer. Pham immediately followed with his first homer, depositing a 1-0 pitch to center to put the Cardinals up, 2-0.
But Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun returned the favor, hitting back-to-back homer with two outs in the ninth to stun the Cardinals. It was the first time in Major League history that a game started and ended with consecutive home runs.
"It's crazy," Fowler said. "That's how the game ends, though. You see the strangest things in this game. That's why you keep playing it."
Ozuna tagged Anderson with an impressive two-run homer in the third to make it 4-0. Projected by Statcast™ to travel 479 feet, the blast is the longest at Miller Park since Statcast™ debuted in 2015, passing a 474-footer by Braun on May 25, 2015. It fell one foot shy of the official record for the longest home run in 18 seasons at Miller Park -- Russell Branyan's 480-footer off the Cubs' Greg Maddux on July 27, 2004.
With an exit velocity of 117.2 mph, it was both the hardest-hit and longest homer by a Cardinal in the Statcast™ era. The Cardinals' previous hardest-hit homer was 112.6 mph by Mark Reynolds.
"That was the first one with a new team, and I love it," said Ozuna, who hit a career-best 37 home runs with 124 RBIs last season with Miami. "It felt good. I was happy to get the one that put the score to 4-0. Now, get ready for tomorrow."
The last team to have its first two batters of the game go deep during the regular season was the Yankees, when Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge did so last Sept. 28.
The last team to achieve the feat on three pitches or fewer was the Cubs on May 13, 2009. Alfonso Soriano went deep on the second pitch of his at-bat, and Ryan Theriot followed with a first-pitch homer.
The last game in which each of the first two Cardinals batters homered was April 26, 2013, when Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran went deep against the Pirates at Busch Stadium.
The last road game in which each of the first two Cardinals batters homered? Aug. 17, 1958, when Curt Flood and Gene Freese did so against the Dodgers.