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Ruggiano appreciates road home run

CINCINNATI -- It's a good thing for the Marlins that their series with the Reds is in Cincinnati this weekend. Otherwise, Justin Ruggiano's game-winning home run off Reds closer Aroldis Chapman on Friday night might not have cleared the fence.

"Oh, it was one of those [home runs] where [because] I did it here, I knew I had a chance," Ruggiano said. "I wasn't sure if it was going to go, but if it had been at our ballpark, I would have been taking a right turn."

Said Marlins manager Mike Redmond, "We're probably still playing."

Instead, Ruggiano's homer, estimated at 418 feet, cleared the fence in left-center.

"That's one of the advantages of playing on the road in a small park," Redmond said. "We finally got that big hit we've been talking about, that we needed. Hopefully it'll be a spark for our offense."

With the home run, Ruggiano -- 0-for-3 with two strikeouts until that point -- extended his hitting streak to a team-high five games. He is batting .421 (8-for-19) during the streak.

"He's a guy who can hit in the middle of our order," Redmond said. "We don't have a lot of power in our lineup, but he's one of the guys that we've got who can hit the ball out of the ballpark. He's done a nice job. He's given us good at-bats."

Ruggiano is hitting .259 (14-for-54) this season. He has more home runs (three) than the rest of Miami's offense combined (two).

Tony Meale is a contributor to
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