Yelich matches career high with 4 RBIs

July 26th, 2017

ARLINGTON -- Marlins center fielder was able to match in one night what he had done previously in his career off Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels.

Yelich had three hits -- two doubles and a three-run home run -- off Hamels in the Marlins' 10-4 loss to Texas at Globe Life Park on Tuesday.

When Hamels was with the Phillies, Yelich was just 3-for-16 (.188) against the lefty, with a double. So having a big night was a small measure of satisfaction on a day the Rangers bounced back after Miami's 4-0 win on Monday.

"He got me pretty good early in my career," Yelich said. "I think I had about 15 ground balls to second off of him, from that sinker and a cutter. But it's baseball, man."

The three-run homer in the fifth inning was the hardest-hit ball Yelich has smacked all season. The exit velocity was 111.8 mph, and the launch angle of just 19 degrees was his lowest home run since Statcast™ started in 2015.

The projected distance was 395 feet, and it was a big home run at the time, because it trimmed the Rangers' lead to 6-4. Texas, however, broke the game open with four runs in the fifth.

"It was a good night except for one good hitter," Hamels said. "He definitely had a good game. You have to give him credit with his approach."

The four RBIs match a career high for Yelich, who has now done it four times. Twice the 25-year-old has done it at Texas, with the other on June 10, 2014. His most recent was on Sept. 1, 2016, at the Mets.

Yelich has been heating up in July, now batting .289 with eight doubles, three home runs and 14 RBIs.

"We'll see how he rolls," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He will be fine. Obviously, he hasn't been as sharp as last year. But I still expect Yelly to have a big second half, and do some damage."

Yelich had a career year in 2016 in terms of power, batting .298 with 21 home runs and 98 RBIs, on his way to winning his first Silver Slugger award.

This year, his power production has dropped off. He's now batting .284 with 10 home runs and 51 RBIs. His slugging percentage is .421, compared to .483 in '16.

Yelich had an RBI double in the first inning, and after doubling in the third, he blasted his three-run homer in the fifth.

"It was nice. He got the little bouncer with the infield in, and we kind of get him a cheapy," Mattingly said of his first-inning, ground-ball double. "Then he has two good at-bats, where he squares him up to left-center and hits that rocket to right. He looked pretty good tonight."