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Ozuna boasts upward trend against Pirates

Marlins center fielder logs two hits in each game of Pirates series

MIAMI -- The sight of black and gold may just have been what Marcell Ozuna needed to get his bat going again.

In Miami's 2-1 loss to the Pirates on Thursday, the Marlins center fielder went 2-for-4 for his third two-hit game of the series. The righty's hot hitting in the four-game set (6-for-16) boosted his career total vs. the Pirates at Marlins Park to 10-for-27 (.370) in seven games.

"The balance is there that you're looking for," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "He's looking away and he's certainly quick enough to get on the inner half."

Ozuna also went 2-for-4 on Monday and Wednesday, recording a double in each game. Hitting out of the No. 5 slot Thursday, the 24-year-old's hits were both singles -- one coming in the second inning and another in the seventh.

It's been a disappointing season for Ozuna, who was sent to Triple-A New Orleans in early July and spent more than a month with the Zephyrs, before being recalled on Aug. 15.

Since his promotion, Ozuna is hitting 12-for-47 with four doubles and two home runs. He's now hitting .250 with six homers this season-- which is not exactly comparable to his .269, 23-homer season of 2014 -- but the four-game Pirates series was a step in the right direction.

"He's had some quality at-bats over this series," Jennings said. "It's good to see him get back into his rhythm and be productive."

Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for
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