Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna join Giancarlo Stanton as hot-hitting Miami Marlins outfielders
08/21/2014 12:00 AM
08/21/2014 12:05 AM
The Marlins are hitting the road for an important nine-game trip beginning Friday night in Colorado, and Giancarlo Stanton isn’t the only hot bat they’re taking with them.
His outfield mates have been on fire of late, too.
Left fielder Christian Yelich recorded his third consecutive three-hit game in Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to the Texas Rangers, completing an impressive homestand in which he hit .514 (19 for 37) with six runs scored, four doubles and two RBI.
Center fielder Marcell Ozuna, who was hitting .170 with only six RBI in his first 26 games after the All-Star break, closed out the final six games of the homestand by going 9 for 23 with home runs in back-to-back games against the Rangers.
“He’s a streaky guy, and this would be a heck of a time for him to get on a big streak,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said of Ozuna, who is now hitting .261 with 18 homers and 65 RBI on the season. “It looks like maybe he’s starting.”
Yelich’s success is just a continuation of what he did in July, when his 33 hits were the most in a single month in his career. He was hitting just .240 on June 6. After his three hits Wednesday, his average is now .288.
“I haven’t changed anything,” Yelich said of his approach at the plate. “The stuff is finding holes. It’s how baseball works. You can be hitting line drives right at people’s chests and people think you’re struggling. Or you can just have the ball find holes and people ask, ‘Well, what’s going different for you?’ You kind of just try and ride it out as long as you can.”
Sometimes, you just got to let off a little steam.
For struggling Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee, who is hitting .220 with seven RBI in 31 games since the All-Star break, that moment came in the eighth inning Tuesday night.
When McGehee whiffed and completed just his second 0-for-5 night of the season, he took his frustrations out on his Louisville Slugger, snapping it over his knee and then flipping it to the ground in disgust. He said it wasn’t the first time he has broken a bat over his leg.
“I wish I wouldn’t have done it,” he said. “At the end of the day, I have to be a little more grown up than that. At the same time, I feel like part of my plan is the fact I kind of live and die on every pitch. Every once and a while it gets the better of me. But it’s coming from the right place.”• Redmond said left-hander Brad Hand (2-5, 4.52 ERA) will start Sunday in Colorado over veteran Brad Penny (1-0, 4.50). Hand pitched a scoreless inning of relief Wednesday.
• Redmond on Wednesday won his first replay challenge since July 25. Replay officials in New York reversed a call by third-base umpire D.J. Reyburn, who had initially called Leonys Martin safe after he dove back to the bag on a pickoff attempt by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the sixth. Redmond is now 17 for 23 on replay challenges this season.
COMING UP• Thursday: Off day.
• Friday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (9-5, 2.43 ERA) at Colorado Rockies LHP Franklin Morales (5-6, 5.04), 8:40 p.m., Coors Field.