Ozuna nearly hits for cycle -- in one at-bat
MIAMI -- No Marlins player has ever hit for the cycle. But in Miami's 5-1 win over the Rockies at Marlins Park on Friday night, Marcell Ozuna actually was a triple shy of completing the feat -- in one at-bat.
Well, in theory. In the fourth inning, Ozuna had what initially was ruled a two-run homer overturned on review. He regrouped and then came inches away from an RBI double, only to have that ruled foul. He ended up delivering a run-scoring single.
All he needed was a foul triple.
"He almost hit for the cycle in that at-bat," manager Dan Jennings said. "He had a home run, a double and then an RBI single. Just a tremendous at-bat to do what he did."
Ozuna's showdown with right-hander Kyle Kendrick was a turning point. Christian Yelich singled and stole second in a scoreless game. Ozuna stepped up with two outs and launched a long drive to left. It drifted near the foul pole and was ruled a home run.
Ozuna circled the bases as the Marlins Park homer sculpture lit up. But after the Rockies asked for a review, replay showed the ball drifted inches foul.
"I was thinking the ball hit the pole," Ozuna said. "But it was close to the foul pole. I was saying, 'Oh, home run.' The umpire called it. I ran the bases. I thought I got it."
Having to step back in, Ozuna handled it in stride.
"That's part of the game," he said.
Ozuna then smashed a hot liner to left that was about six inches foul of what would have been an RBI double.
"It's one of the better at-bats I've seen in a while," Yelich said. "Pretty good job by Ozo there. You don't know how tough that is, when you hit a homer, you jog around the bases and you're in the dugout. And then you've got to go hit. That's really tough."
Ozuna was denied by inches again. But on the ninth pitch, he laced a clean single to center and picked up the RBI, as well as extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
"Kendrick had good stuff tonight, a lot of movement," Yelich said. "He laid off some pitches. Hit one foul. You've got to lock it in again after you round first base. You think you've got a double. Good job by him getting that hit and giving us the lead early."
After gaining the lead, Miami never gave it up.
"That was huge for us," Yelich said. "It could have easily still been 0-0 if he gets out right there and we're still fighting."