Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

MLB News

Ozuna's 2-HR game powers Marlins past Crew

July 2, 2017

MILWAUKEE -- Marcell Ozuna delivered a pair of booming home runs, including a go-ahead three-run shot that sent the Marlins on their way to a 10-3 win over the Brewers on Sunday at Miller Park.Ozuna's third-inning homer off Brewers starter Junior Guerra traveled a Statcast-projected 425 feet to straightaway center

MILWAUKEE -- Marcell Ozuna delivered a pair of booming home runs, including a go-ahead three-run shot that sent the Marlins on their way to a 10-3 win over the Brewers on Sunday at Miller Park.
Ozuna's third-inning homer off Brewers starter Junior Guerra traveled a Statcast-projected 425 feet to straightaway center field, where it hit the batter's eye and gave Miami a 3-1 lead. In the eighth, Ozuna sparked a three-run rally with a 455-foot solo blast off Brewers reliever Paolo Espino, as Miami avoided a three-game sweep.
Christian Yelich reached base five times for Miami through four hits and a walk, while Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto finished with three hits apiece to back starter Dan Straily. The Marlins' right-hander allowed three runs on five hits in six innings to improve to 4-0 in five career starts against the Brewers.
"I feel like I got stronger as I kept going," Straily said. "Definitely, the last couple of innings I felt a lot better than I did the first couple. I was just trying to save as many innings for our bullpen as possible. I didn't go as deep as I wanted to, but I gave it everything I had."

Eric Thames and Orlando Arcia homered for Milwaukee, but Guerra did not record an out in the fifth inning and saw his diminished fastball velocity dip to an average of 90 mph. Guerra was charged with four earned runs on eight hits in four-plus innings to go with three walks and seven strikeouts. His fastest pitch on Sunday -- 92.1 mph -- was lower than Guerra's worst average fastball velocity from his 31 previous appearances in the Majors.
"The velocity is not there right now," Guerra said. "It goes up and down; sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not. That's part of who I am. I have to find a way to find it. … I feel like if I get that back a bit more, I'll be back to the Junior Guerra I was last year. I feel like that would help me a lot."

Pine Tar Game, Part II: Eagle-eyed home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt ordered a player from each team back to the bat rack because of pine tar too high up the handle. Jonathan Villar never swung his new piece of lumber, instead taking a walk in the seventh. In the eighth, after not one, but two bats were denied, Ozuna used the third -- a Giancarlo Stanton model -- to crush his solo homer to left field. It left the new bat at 112.5 mph, according to Statcast™, Ozuna's fourth-hardest-hit ball of any kind this season, and his second-hardest-hit home run since Statcast™ debuted in 2015.

"He probably could pick up a 2-by-4 and hit with it," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "So yeah, it was good, it was a good day for him."
Mattingly, who played in the infamous Pine Tar Game featuring George Brett, said he did not complain to the umpires about Villar's bat.
"I'm not quite sure how it all came about," Mattingly said. "I don't worry about a guy who's got pine tire. I've been involved with a pine tar game before. I know that's not really going to help him hit."
Last chance: The Marlins helped the Brewers stick around by going 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position through the first seven innings, and it was a 6-3 game in the bottom of that frame when Milwaukee brought the tying run to the plate with one out against reliever Kyle Barraclough. Eric Sogard hit a drive deep into the right-field corner with runners on first and second, but Stanton made a nice running catch. Stephen Vogt then pinch-hit in the spot vacated by Thames in an earlier double switch, and struck out to end Milwaukee's threat. The Marlins responded with three runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach.
"We did a nice job getting out of jams for the first five innings and staying within striking distance," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "But there were just too many runners and eventually they broke through."

Thames finds power stroke: Before leaving the game, Thames scored a pair of runs and hit a third-inning solo homer, his first since homering in four straight games from June 14-17. He was 4-for-41 with 17 strikeouts in his previous 11 games entering Sunday, a stretch that included two days off last week so Thames could clear his mind. His home run left the bat at 109.4 mph, according to Statcast™, and nearly reached the third deck in right field at Miller Park.
"The home run was nice, but for me, it was more about having back to back games of good, quality at-bats. Putting the ball in play, taking walks," Thames said. "For me, the last two months are gone. It's flushed, it's erased. You move on."
"That's the rule. I can't go around a rule. I have to, every time, follow the rule." - Ozuna, on being called for having excessive pine tar on his bat.
A successful Brewers challenge took a Marlins run off the board in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and Brewers reliever Carlos Torres trying to wiggle out of a bases loaded jam, JT Riddle beat a fielder's choice grounder as a run scored. Brewers manager Craig Counsell ordered a second look, and the call was overturned and became an inning-ending double play. It became a two-run swing minutes later, when Arcia led off the bottom of the fifth with his second home run in as many games.
Marlins:The Marlins will continue their 10-game road trip by heading to St. Louis for a four-game series, beginning at 8:15 p.m. ET on Monday. LHP Jeff Locke (0-4, 5.52) will take the mound for Miami in search of his first win of the season.
Brewers: The Brewers will continue their six-game homestand with a three-game series against the Orioles, beginning at 1:10 p.m. CT on Monday. The Brewers have yet to officially name a starting pitcher to step in for the injured Chase Anderson, but manager Craig Counsell said the team plans to handle it internally.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to and covered the Marlins on Sunday.