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Aguilar goes deep, shows off agility

MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MIAMI -- After a daylong media blitz to promote his candidacy for the National League's final All-Star Game roster spot, Jesus Aguilar returned to what he does best: hitting dingers.

He looked pretty nimble around first base, too.

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MIAMI -- After a daylong media blitz to promote his candidacy for the National League's final All-Star Game roster spot, Jesus Aguilar returned to what he does best: hitting dingers.

He looked pretty nimble around first base, too.

View Full Game Coverage

Aguilar took the NL lead with home run No. 23 in the fourth inning and made a surprising defensive play in the sixth of the Brewers' 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Marlins on Monday at Marlins Park, a day after he hit a pair of homers in a win over the Braves at Miller Park and was named one of five NL candidates for the final ticket to Washington, D.C. 

Teammates donned T-shirts bearing the phrase "I believe in Jesús" for batting practice after spending the day making his case via their social media accounts.

"I feel great, that support from my teammates," Aguilar said. "Those kind of things make me feel good, make me feel like I have to keep going, you know?"

Keep going he did, taking the lead in an NL home run chase Aguilar didn't join until he hit his first long ball of the season on April 21, when he was still fighting for playing time in the Brewers' crowded first-base picture. Milwaukee didn't give him back-to-back starts until the start of May.

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Now, Aguilar has more home runs than all but four Major League hitters, and it's a heck of a group: J.D. Martinez, Mike Trout, Aaron Judge and Jose Ramirez.

"I just go out and try to do my job the right way. I don't try to think about that other stuff," Aguilar said. "If you put up a quality at-bat, something is going to happen, for sure. In that moment, I was like, 'Wow.' But we lost."

It wasn't all good at the plate. Aguilar had a chance to give the Brewers an extra-inning lead when he batted in the 10th with runners at second and third with no outs. He struck out on three pitches, and took responsibility afterward.

"I'm supposed to have a better at-bat, but that's what we did in the moment," Aguilar said. "I tried to do my best, but you're not going to hit every time."

Video: MIL@MIA: Yelich on Aguilar deserving All-Star berth

Likewise, it was a day of extremes in the field. After a rare throwing error contributed to an unearned run in the fourth inning, Aguilar made his presence felt in a good way in the sixth by making a terrific barehanded play. Aguilar adjusted to a slightly off-target throw from reliever Jeremy Jeffress on Cameron Maybin's comebacker and snatched the ball out of the air for the first out of what would become a scoreless inning.

"That was ridiculous," infielder Brad Miller said. "Not just his barehand, but his footwork, too. Quick feet, light on his feet. That was wild. Look, the way he's playing right now, it's all phases of the game, and it's awesome. It truly is MVP-caliber play."

Video: Hader on why Aguilar deserves the NL Final Vote

Was it instinct?

"Want to hear the truth? I don't know," Aguilar said. "I just saw the ball and tried to grab it, and that happened."

Brewers officials back in Milwaukee have been pressing his All-Star Game candidacy with the public. On Tuesday from 8-10 a.m. CT at Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts in the Mayfair Collection, 11340 W Burleigh St., Wauwatosa, Wis., the first 500 fans will receive a "Sweet Jesús" doughnut while casting their votes.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Jesus Aguilar