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Marte propels D-backs with 3rd multi-HR game

D-backs’ budding star goes deep from both sides in win
@SteveGilbertMLB
May 4, 2019

DENVER -- When he showed up at Spring Training this year, it was noticeable that Ketel Marte had added more muscle to his frame. When he was asked about it, Marte said that maybe it would help him hit more homers. That newfound power was on display again Friday night

DENVER -- When he showed up at Spring Training this year, it was noticeable that Ketel Marte had added more muscle to his frame.

When he was asked about it, Marte said that maybe it would help him hit more homers.

That newfound power was on display again Friday night at Coors Field, as Marte homered from both sides of the plate for the third time this season and drove home four runs, as the D-backs outslugged the Rockies, 10-9.

Box score

“I focused on keeping my body strong for the whole,” Marte said. “I’ve [added] a couple of more pounds. I’m maybe a little bit slower, but I hit the ball with more pop. I can’t hit 10 triples, but I can hit 25 homers. I’m still fast, but I think I’m a little slower.”

Marte led the Majors with 12 triples last year and also hit 14 homers. Good numbers, for sure, but he had an uneven start to that season. When he looks back at that now, Marte points to the five-year, $24 million extension he signed before the season as a factor.

“Last year, maybe I put a little pressure on myself because I was in my first year of my contract,” he said. “But at the end of the season, you see my numbers. I had good numbers. Right now, I feel great. I feel stronger. I’ve been working a lot. You’ll see my numbers in September.”

Marte, who now leads the team with nine homers, hit a two-run shot from the right side of the plate in the third off Rockies starter Tyler Anderson, and a two-run shot in the seventh from the left side off reliever Seunghwan Oh.

Adam Jones and Eduardo Escobar also homered for the D-backs, who have won three straight and 13 of their last 17.

The offensive firepower made a winner of Arizona starter Robbie Ray (2-1, 3.79 ERA). The left-hander allowed five runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings.

“That guy is something else,” Ray said of Marte. “I mean, what he’s doing right now ... our whole lineup right now -- Jonsie, [Marte], Escobar -- the guys are getting hot. It’s really fun to watch.”

Marte has now homered from both sides four times in his career, all with the D-backs, setting an Arizona record. The MLB record for most games in a season with home runs from both sides of the plate is four, set by the Padres' Ken Caminiti in 1996, the year he won the NL MVP Award.

“It’s kind of crazy, but I’m just trying to take my best swing every time,” Marte said. “I’m seeing the ball good right now. I feel great from both sides. I’ve been working so much harder at my offense. When I feel good out there, I can do something special.”

Marte was a natural right-handed hitter, but he became a switch-hitter at the age of 16 just before signing with the Mariners.

"He's in a good spot,” D-backs hitting coach Darnell Coles said. “I think he's starting to understand himself as a hitter. I think that he's controlling the aggression that he has sometimes in his swing, especially from the right-hand side. I think, overall, it's just [that] his approach is in the right place, his timing is in the right place and we're just trying to keep him there as long as he can."

“I’m just going out there and having fun with my teammates and giving it my best every day,” Marte said. “I’ve got to keep doing what I’m doing right now. I feel stronger, I’m seeing the ball good out there and you guys are going to see more.”

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.