Marcell Ozuna came through for the Marlins in a way no previous player ever had for them on Tuesday when his home run in the ninth propelled Miami to a 2-1 win over Arizona.
The Marlins were one strike away from a 1-0 loss when Ozuna connected on Addison Reed’s 2-2 fastball for a two-run homer. It was the first time a Marlin has homered to give his team the lead after being one out away from a shutout loss.
And it was also the first time a Marlin drove in a game-tying and winning run with a two-strike, two-out home run in the ninth since Mike Lowell did it at Boston on June 28, 2003.
Ozuna all but predicted the comeback win before the inning started. Ozuna said that when Reed took over in the ninth for the Diamondbacks, he was asked by teammate Adeiny Hechavarria if he knew anything about the pitcher.
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“I said ‘I don’t know, but he’s going to lose anyway,’ ” Ozuna said.
The home run was Ozuna’s 15th and saved the Marlins from dropping a 1-0 decision in which the opponents’ only run was unearned for only the sixth time in team history.
As it turned out, it was the second time in four days that the Marlins were down to their last out in the ninth before pulling out a win. They also achieved the feat in St. Louis on Saturday.
All-Star campaign floundering
Despite the best efforts of the Marlins’ marketing department, Casey McGehee isn’t receiving much love from fans in voting for the final All-Star roster spot. In fact, Wednesday’s update showed McGehee running last among the five players involved in the voting process.
“Middle America has been a struggle for him,” said Marlins president David Samson. “He does have a little pocket in Anchorage, Alaska. It’s fun to watch. I feel like CNN should do the math like during the presidential election. We’re short a few electoral votes at this point, but we’re not going to give up. We’re not ready to concede yet.”
The Marlins have tried to engage fans in Japan, where McGehee played last season. Samson said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, as one notable example, has cast “well over 1,000 times” for McGehee. Marlins players have also been busy texting in votes for the team’s third baseman.
But the Colorado Rockies’ Justin Morneau is proving too formidable and leads the way.
Penny promoted to New Orleans
Following a successful outing Tuesday for Single-A Jupiter, the Marlins are sending Brad Penny to Triple-A New Orleans for his next start on Sunday.
Penny, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012, went six innings in what was his second start for Jupiter. He allowed two runs on three hits, striking out two and issuing no walks.
The plan calls for Penny to make at least two starts for New Orleans before the Marlins decide whether to bring him up. Penny has a July 31 out clause in his minor-league contract that allows him to sign with another organization if he isn’t on the Marlins’ roster by then.
At the moment, the Marlins have only four starters on their staff and will need a fifth starter on July 22. If Penny continues on a normal pitching schedule, he could be available to the Marlins on July 23.
Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (6-3, 2.27) at New York Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (4-8, 4.07), 7:10 p.m., Citi Field.
Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (6-7, 3.98) at Mets RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-3, 3.32), 4:10 p.m., Citi Field.