“When you make a mistake, you want to be better the next day,” Ozuna said after the team’s fourth straight victory. “You put more focus on your approach and your defense, too.”
His offensive contributions were key. Ozuna manufactured the team’s first run by hustling for a leadoff double and then swiping third base, putting himself in position to score on a Yadier Molina groundout. He later crushed a two-run homer to pad the club’s lead.
“About knocked the foul pole down,” manager Mike Shildt said of the 109.6 mph blast.
The homer, Ozuna’s third in five games, sealed his first three-hit game of the season and provided added assurance that he is rediscovering the timing of his swing.
But there was also a blemish, one that FOX Sports Midwest analyst Tim McCarver didn’t let pass without criticism.
A day after overrunning a ball on defense, Ozuna misjudged a situation on the bases in the sixth inning. While Paul DeJong went first to third on Ozuna’s single to right, Ozuna took too wide a turn and was caught off first by a throw from right fielder Alex Verdugo.
The gaffe became a little less glaring when Dexter Fowler drove in DeJong with a two-out single to put the Cardinals ahead, 2-0, but it didn’t stop McCarver from sharing his opinion on the TV broadcast.
“That is just ... careless, and that's being nice,” McCarver said. “I mean, Verdugo is 50 feet from him. Where are you going? It's the right fielder that has the ball. That is ludicrous for that to happen. I mean, you just cannot make mistakes like that. Dadgummit, this is the big leagues, and instead of first and third, nobody out, you've got a man at third, one out, and they bring the infield in. It's ridiculous."