MIAMI -- Yasiel Puig wasn't among the participants in this year's T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Marlins Park, but he showed on Friday night that he belonged.The Dodgers' right fielder knocked not one, but two mammoth homers -- the second a three-run shot off the home run sculpture in center
MIAMI -- Yasiel Puig wasn't among the participants in this year's T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Marlins Park, but he showed on Friday night that he belonged.
The Dodgers' right fielder knocked not one, but two mammoth homers -- the second a three-run shot off the home run sculpture in center field -- to rally the Dodgers to a 6-4 win in the first of a three-game series with the Marlins.
Inspired by the titanic dingers hit in Monday's Derby, Puig showed what he could do a couple of days later in the same ballpark.
"I was just trying to hit the ball," Puig said. "It's really hard to hit the glass the way that [Derby winner Aaron Judge] hits it. It's incredible, the power that he has."
It marked Puig's fourth career multi-homer game and third of the season. He last achieved the feat on June 17 in Cincinnati.
Puig pounced on a two-out, two-strike pitch from Marlins closer AJ Ramos in the ninth inning, sending the 94-mph fastball 412 feet, according to Statcast™, with an exit velocity of 102 mph at a launch angle of 28 degrees.
"He threw a ball outside," Puig said. "I got it with a check swing. I was waiting for it to come again, higher inside, and he threw it."
Puig's 18th homer puts him one shy of his career high for a season, a number he wants to reach. More importantly, he wants it to mean something team-wise.
"I'm trying to get to 20 and break all my personal records, but the most important part is that my team wins and that we reach the World Series," said Puig, who led off the fifth inning with a 449-foot shot.
That one had an exit velocity of 109 mph, with a 25-degree launch angle and reached 94 feet at its apex. He tagged a 71.4-mph curveball from Marlins starter Dan Straily that broke a 1-1 tie. The homer landed a foot shy of his longest homer since Statcast™ was introduced. Puig hit one 450 feet earlier this season. It was also the fifth-hardest hit ball of any kind hit off Straily this season.
The oddity is that this power surge is coming from a player hitting in the No. 8 spot in the order. But that sits just fine with Puig.
"I thought about talking to the manager, but I think I'll stay there," Puig said of the possibility of moving up in the batting order. "As long as I'm in the lineup, I'm fine."
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.