Before leaving for the ballpark Wednesday, Marcell Ozuna asked his wife if she would prefer him to stay home and be with her.
No, she told him, “go play for me.”
And so, one day after Ozuna hustled out of Marlins Park in the seventh inning after hearing his wife was being rushed to the hospital, he was back in the lineup.
“She’s OK, the baby’s OK,” a relieved Ozuna said Wednesday.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Genesis Guzman, who is six months pregnant with their third child, was watching Tuesday’s game at Marlins Park when she began experiencing extreme discomfort, Ozuna said.
“She was watching the game, and then she tried to go home,” Ozuna said. “But when she tried to stand up, she couldn’t. They called the ambulance.”
When word reached the Marlins dugout, manager Don Mattingly pulled Ozuna aside to fill him in on the situation.
“The manager came and told me, ‘Something happened with your wife,’” Ozuna said. “Do you want to keep playing?”
Said Mattingly: “I just wanted to give him the option. We let him know what was going on. He decides. We’re not trying to keep them in the game.”
With the Marlins trailing 1-0 to the Kansas City Royals, Ozuna decided to stay and returned to his position in center in the top of the seventh. But during a mid-inning pitching change, Ozuna squatted and bowed his head as the gravity of the situation took hold.
Teammates Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich and Ichiro Suzuki converged on Ozuna in center to comfort him. When the inning ended, Ozuna decided to leave for the hospital.
At one point, Ozuna said doctors thought of performing emergency surgery. As the night wore on, though, Ozuna said doctors decided to hold off. Eventually, Guzman was allowed to return home.
Chen completes bullpen session
Injured starter Wei-Yin Chen was all smiles Wednesday after completing his first bullpen session since landing on the disabled list with a left elbow sprain.
“No pain at all,” Chen said of the 20-pitch session. “It was my first pen, so it was kind of touch and feel. I felt good throwing it.”
Mattingly, who was on hand to watch, said the session “went very well.”
“The ball was coming out of his hand,” Mattingly said. “He looked confident throwing. I don’t think it could have gone any better than that.”
Mattingly said that if there are no setbacks, Chen could return in mid-September. But Mattingly said the Marlins are dealing with so many injuries that it becomes counterproductive to have the mindset of “what if.”
“You don’t really sit here and wait for them, because you don’t really have time to wait for them,” Mattingly said of his win-now thinking. “And then at some point you get them, and then it’s a shot in the arm.”
With Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to the Royals, the Marlins broke a franchise record by playing in their 15th straight game decided by three runs or less. The old team mark was 12 straight games, according to Stats LLC. The Marlins’ last game decided by more than three runs was a 12-6 loss to Colorado on Aug. 6.
▪ Thursday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (9-8, 3.82) vs. Kansas City Royals RHP Edinson Volquez (9-10, 5.04), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Friday: Marlins RHP David Phelps (7-6, 2.28) vs. San Diego Padres RHP Jarred Cosart (0-1, 4.54), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.